Alkaloids in Feed

Alkaloids in Feed

With the rapid development of modern breeding industry, concentrated and professional breeding are highly favored. Although this approach is convenient to manage, livestock and poultry are prone to viral infections. To solve this problem, various antibiotic drugs are added into the feed. Antibiotic drugs help the growth of livestock and poultry, but they bring various endogenous infections and secondary infections. Therefore, it is particularly important to find a new range of feed additives. Alkaloids are a diverse group of amino acid-derived and nitrogen-bearing molecules that display a wide range of roles in nature. It not only treats diseases, but also improves the immunity of livestock and poultry themselves. Numerous studies have shown that alkaloids have a wide range of applications in the livestock and poultry feed market.

Alkaloids in Feed

Alkaloids commonly used in feed

Many alkaloids have been used in feeds, which include but are not limited to betaine, choline, and matrine.

  • Betaine

Betaine is a naturally occurring trimethyl derivative of glycine, present in relatively large quantities in sugar beets and aquatic invertebrates. Betaine has two important physiological functions. One is that as a product of choline oxidation, it is a source of methyl groups involved in metabolic processes in animals. The second is that it protects cells from adverse changes in osmotic pressure. The inclusion of betaine in poultry feed has potential benefits, including sparing choline, carcass fat reduction and aiding in cell osmoregulation. It is worth noting that betaine has attracted the attention of the fish farming industry. This is mainly because betaine can increase the feeding rate of fish, thus improving the utilization of aquatic feed.

Alkaloids in FeedFigure 1. The structure of betaine.

  • Choline

Choline is an important nutrient necessary for growth, normal bone development, and fat metabolism. Choline can be synthesized in animals, but often needs to be added to the feed. Choline contributes to vital biological functions, as for example in the synthesis of the phospholipids, which are structural cell components, as precursor for the intracellular messenger molecules, and for acetylcholine. Choline regulates fat metabolism and conversion in animals and prevents fat deposition and its tissue degeneration in the liver and kidneys. As a methyl donor, choline promotes the re-formation of amino acids and improves their utilization. Therefore, the addition of choline to feed is of great importance for poultry production.

Alkaloids in FeedFigure 2. The structure of choline.

  • Matrine

Matrine, one of the major alkaloid components found in Sophora roots, has long been regarded as an important herb. Matrine has been made into various dosage forms for clinical applications in medicine. Matrine has a significant effect on improving the growth rate of chicks, enhancing immune function, and preventing and controlling coccidial infections. In addition, the addition of Matrine to piglet feed can prevent piglet dysentery and increase piglet weight.

Alkaloids in FeedFigure 3. The structure of matrine.

What can we do?

Alfa Chemistry has developed a range of alkaloids to meet the livestock breeding needs of our customers. We will serve you with the most abundant experience and affordable price. If you have any problems, we will provide technical support and develop a unique solution for you. Please don't hesitate to contact us.

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