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Hepatoprotective Role of Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) in Meat Type Chicken Fed Aflatoxin B1 Contaminated Feed
Din Muhammad, Nailia Chand, Sarzamin Khan*, Asad Sultan, Mohammad Mushtaq and Rafiullah
Department of Poultry Science, Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, KPK Agricultural University, Peshawar, Pakistan
*Corresponding author:


Milk thistle was added in aflatoxin B1 contaminated poultry feed to investigate and compare its hepatoprotective effects with a commercial toxin binder. Two hundred and forty, day-old broilers were randomly allocated into four major groups A, B, C and D. Group A was kept as control, having aflatoxin free feed, while group B was fed aflatoxin contaminated feed, group C was raised on aflatoxin contaminated feed with toxin binder “Mycoad” @ 3g/kg of feed, while group D was provided aflatoxin contaminated feed along with milk thistle @10g/kg of feed. Aflatoxin B1 was present at the level of 80 µg/kg feed during the first week and 520 µg/kg feed in the remaining experimental period. Serum total protein was significantly (P<0.05) higher in group D, followed by group A, C and B. Serum enzymes including, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) values were significantly (P<0.05) lower in group D, followed by C, A and B, which are indicative of hepatoprotective role of milk thistle. Body weight gain and feed intake was decreased by aflatoxin contaminated feed (group B) in comparison with group A and group D. Milk thistle supplementation improved body weight gain and feed intake and was similar to toxin binder treated birds. Average feed conversion ratio (FCR) was significantly (P<0.05) higher (poor) in group B and were the same in all other groups. Present study demonstrated that milk thistle can potentially be used as mycotoxin binder and to minimize the adverse effects of toxin contaminated feed in broilers production.

Key words: Aflatoxin B1, Broilers, Liver functions tests, Milk thistle, Toxin binder


ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)