A group of Indian researchers looked at the bacteria present in the manure after pigs where fed with a prebiotic and herbal residue.
More natural products are on the market to promote growth and health. The benefits of herbals and their extracts is well recognised and have been related to the modulation of gut microbiota in addition to improvement of digestibility, stimulation of the immune system, antimicrobial activities and, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger is a commonly used herb and widely popular for its medicinal values.
This present study looked at the effectiveness of herbal residue (ginger, Zingiber officinale, dried rhizome powder) and prebiotic (inulin) as an alternative to antibiotics. The grower pigs were offered feed containing antibiotic (tetracycline), ginger and inulin separately and un-supplemented group served as control. The study revealed significant changes in the microbial abundance based on operational taxonomic units (species distinction based on DNA) among the groups.
The researchers showed that the beneficial microbes Bacteroides intestinalis, Eubacterium oxidoreducens, Selonomonas sp., Methylobacterium sp. and Denitrobacter sp. were found significantly greater in inulin supplemented pigs. Similarly, Bacteroides intestinalis, Selonomonas sp., and Phascolarcobacterium faecium was found significantly greater in ginger supplemented pigs. However, pathogenic microorganisms Atopostipes suicloacalis and Bartonella quintana str. Toulouse was significantly reduced in ginger and inulin supplemented pigs. Based on these results, the researchers suggest the potential of ginger and prebiotics to replace antibiotics in the diet of grower pigs.