Effect of adding Foeniculum vulgare and Nigella sativa in the diet before and after lambing on blood metabolites and antioxidant status of Sanjabi ewes and their lambs

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D Student of Animal Nutrition, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural Science, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Animal Science Department, Kermanshah Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Iran


Concerning the importance of the transition period and the useful effect of plant medicinal on blood antioxidant capacity, this study was aimed to investigate the effect of using Foeniculum vulgare and Nigella sativa on blood metabolites and antioxidant status of Sanjabi ewes and their lambs during the transition period. The number of 36 Sanjabi ewes with an average weight of 62 ± 8 kg and an average parity of 2.5 ± 0.5 were allocated to three experimental groups from six weeks before parturition to six weeks after that. Treatments were included: 1) control group (basal diet without supplement) and 2) fennel group (basal diet plus 20 grams per kilogram of fennel) and 3) black seed group (base diet plus 20 grams per kilogram of black-seed). To determine the effect of treatments on the activity of glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, alkaline phosphatase, and alanine aminotransferase enzymes and concentrations of glucose, cholesterol, urea, total protein, triglyceride, HDL, LDL, and albumin, blood samples were taken from Jugular veins of ewes and lambs. The total antioxidant status and serum malondialdehyde concentration were also measured. According to the results, fennel in comparison with the control group prevented blood glucose reduction in ewes at lambing. Black seed supplementation increased blood total protein and albumin concentration in the lambs of this group (p < /em>˂0.05). A significant increase in total antioxidants was observed in ewes in both fennel and black seed groups and lambs in the fennel group (p < /em>˂0.05). The addition of black seed to the diet decreased malondialdehyde in the blood of lambs and ewes (p < /em>˂0.05). The lambs in the fennel group showed higher levels of glutathione peroxidase activity (p < /em>˂0.05). There was no significant difference between treatments in other studied enzymes in this study. The results of this study showed that adding fennel and black seed in the ewe diet before and after lambing may cause positive and constant changes in important blood metabolites, and improve antioxidant status in ewes and their lambs.


Main Subjects

Al-Gaby A. M. 1998. Amino acid composition and biological effects of supplementing broad bean and corn proteins with Nigella sativa (black cumin) cake protein. Nahrung, 42: 290-294.
Al-Gubory K. H., Fowler P. A. and Garrel C. 2010. The roles of cellular reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress and antioxidants in pregnancy outcomes. International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 42: 1634-1650.
Antunovic Z., Sencic D., Sperada M. and Liker B. 2002. Influence of the season and the reproductive status of ewes on blood parameters. Small Ruminant Research, 45(1): 39-44.
Arguello A., Castro N., Capote J., Tyler J. W. and Holloway N. M. 2004. Effect of colostrums administration practices on serum IgG in goat kids. Livestock Production Science, 90: 235-239.
Awadallah I. M. 2002. Effect of supplementation with niacin and nigella sativa seeds on Friesian calves under heat stress conditions. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology, 27(2): 791-801.
Bell A. W. 1995. Regulation of organic nutrient metabolism during transition from late pregnancy to early lactation. Journal of Animal Science, 73: 2804-2819.
Botsoglou N. A., Taitzoglou I. A., Botsoglou E., Zervos I., Kokoli A.,Christakia E. and Nikolaidisc E. 2009. Effect of long-term dietary administration of oregano and rosemary on the antioxidant status of ratserum, liver, kidney and heart after carbon tetrachloride-induced oxidative stress.Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 89: 1397-1406.
Bouwstra R. J., Nielen M., Newbold J. R., Jansen E. H. J. M., Jelinek H. F. and Werven, T. V. 2010. Vitamin E supplementation during the dry period in dairy cattle. Part II: Oxidative stress following vitamin E supplementation may increase clinical mastitis incidence postpartum. Journal of Dairy Science, 93: 5696-5706.
Brzezinska-Slebodzinsk E., Miller J. K., Quigley J. D. and Moore J. R. 1994. Antioxidant status of dairy cows supplemented prepartum with vitamin E and selenium. Journal of Dairy Science, 77:3087-3095.
Casamassima D., Palazzo M., Martemucci G., Vizzarri F. and Corino C. 2012. Effects of verbascoside on plasma oxidative status and blood and milk production parameters during the peripartum period in Lacaune ewes. Small Ruminant Research, 105: 1-8.
Celi P. 2010. The role of oxidative stress in small ruminants’ health and production. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, 39: 348-363.
Cronquist A. 1981. An Integrated System of Classification of Flowering Plants. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 352.
Damianova S., Stoyanova A., Konakchiev A. and Djurdjev I. 2004. Inhibition of aldose reductase and anti-cataract action of trans-anethole isolated from Foeniculum vulgare Mill. Fruits. Food Chemistry, 132: 385-390.
Davidson S., Hopkins B. A. Diaz D., E. Bolt S. M., Brownie C., Fellner V. and Whitlow L. W. 2003. Effects of amounts and degradability of dietary protein on lactation, nitrogen utilization, and excretion in early lactation Holstein cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 86: 1681-1689.
Devegowda G. 1996. Herbal medicines, an untapped treasure in poultry production In: Proc. 20th World Poultry Congress. New Delhi, India.
Dongare V., Kulkarni C., Kondawar M., Magdum C., Haldavnekar V. and Arvindekar A. 2012. Inhibition of aldose reductase and anti-cataract action of trans-anethole isolated from Foeniculum vulgare Mill. fruits. Food Chemistry, 132: 385-390.
El-Dakhakhny M., Mahady N. I. and Halim M. A. Nigella sativa L. 2000. Oil protects against induced hepatotoxicity and improves serum lipid profile in rats. Arzneimittel-Forschung (Drug Research Germany), 50(9): 832-836.
EL-Hossieny H. M., Allam S. M. EL-Saadany S. A., Abdel-Gawad, A. M. and Zeid A. M. 2000. Medicinal herbs and plants as food additives for ruminants. 2. Effect ofusing some medicinal herbs on growth performance of Zaraibi kids. Proceedings of the Conference on Animal Production. Sakha, Kafr AL-Sheikh, Egypt, 189-199.
El-Sherif M. M. A. and Assad F. 2001. Changes in some blood constituents of Barki ewes during pregnancy and lactation under semiarid conditions. Small Ruminant Research, 40(3): 269-277.
Garrel C., Fowler P. A. and Al-Gubory K. H. 2010. Developmental changes in antioxidant enzymatic defenses against oxidative stress in sheep placentomes. Journal of Endocrinology, 205: 107-116.
Gharaghani H., Shariatmadari F. and Torshizi M. A. 2015.Effect of Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare Mill.) Used as a Feed Additive on The Egg Quality of Laying Hens Under Heat Stress. Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science, 17(2): 199-208.
Goreja W. G. 2003. Black Seed: Nature’s Miracle Remedy. New York, NY7 Amazing Herbs Press, pp: 46.
Grieve M. 1984. Tansy. In: Leyel, C. F. (Ed.). A Modern Herbal. Penguin Books Ltd, Middlesex, Great Britain, pp. 789-790.
Guler T., Ertas O. N, Kizil M., Dalkilic B. and Ciftci M. 2007. Effect of dietary supplemental black cumin seeds on antioxidant activity in broilers. Medycyna Weterynaryjna, 63: 1060-1063.
Habeeb A. A. M. and El-Tarabany A. A. 2012. Effect of Nigella sativa or curcumin on daily body weight gain, feed intake and some physiological functions in growing Zaraibi goats during hot summer season. Hurghada Egypt, 12-16.
Hama A. Y. 2002. Effect of feeling Nigella sativa seeds on egg yolk lipids profile. MSc. Thesis, University of Khartoum.
Hamed M. R. 2003.The effect of feeding Nigella sativa L. seeds to layers on serum lipids M.V.sc. Thesis, University of Khartoum.
Hammon H., Steinhoff-Wagner J., Schönhusen U., Metges C. and Blum J. 2012. Energy metabolism in the newborn farm animal with emphasis on the calf: Endocrine changes and responses to milk-born and systemic hormones. Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 43: 171-185.
Ismaiel A. M., El-Far A. H. and Abou-Ganema I. I. 2010. Effect of Tonilisat and Roemin W2 supplementations on the performance of lambs. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 47: 11-29.
Kamal-Eldin A. and Appelqvist L. A. 1996. The chemistry and antioxidant properties of tocopherols and tocotrienols. Lipids, 31: 671-701.
Kamiloğlu N. N., Beytu E., Güven A. and Altinsaat C. 2006. Changes in the erythrocyte anti-oxidant system of offspring of dams treated with vitamin A and carotene during gestation. Small Ruminant Research, 65: 142- 148.
Katiyar S. K. 2002. Treatment of silymarin, a plant flavonoid, prevents ultraviolet light-induced immune suppression and oxidative stress in mouse skin. International Journal of Oncology,21: 1213-1222.
Khattab H. M., El-Basiony A. Z., Hamdy S. M. and Marwan A. A. 2011. Immune response and productive performance of dairy buffaloes and their offspring supplemented with black seed oil. Iranian Journal of Applied Animal Science, 1(4): 227-234.
Lohakare J. D., Pattanaik A. K. and Khan S. A. 2006. Effect of dietary protein levels on the performance, nutrient balances, metabolic profile and thyroid hormones of crossbred calves. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Science, 19: 1588-1596.
Martin J. L., Vonnahme K. A., Adams D. C., Lardy G. P. and Funston R. N. 2006. Effects of dam nutrition on growth and reproductive performance of heifer calves. Journal of Animal Science, 85: 841-847.
McGovern F. M., Campion F. P., Sweeney T., Fair S., Lott S. and Boland T. M. 2015. Altering ewe nutrition in late gestation (II) the impact on fetal development and offspring performance. Journal of Animal Science, 93: 4873-4882.
Moghaddam G. and Hassanpour A. 2008. Comparison of blood serum glucose, beta hydroxyl butyric acid, blood urea nitrogen and calcium concentrations in pregnant and lambed ewes. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 7(3): 308-311.
Mohamed, A. H., El-Saidy B. E. and El-Seidi I. A. 2003. Influence of some medicinal plants supplementation. 1- On digestibility, nutritive value, rumen fermentation and some blood biochemical parameters in sheep. Egyptian Journal of Nutrition and Feeds, 6: 139.
Mohebbi-Fani M., Mirzaei A., Nazifi S. and Shabbooie Z. 2012. Changes of vitamins A, E, and C and lipid peroxidation status of breeding and pregnant sheep during dry seasons on medium-to-low quality forages. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 44: 259-265.
Nazifi S., Saeb M. and Ghavami S. M. 2002. Serum lipid profile in Iranian fat-tailed sheep in late pregnancy, atparturition and during the post-parturition period. Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series, 49(1): 9-12.
NRC. 2007. Nutrient Requirements of Small Ruminants. 1st ed. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
Oktay M., Gülçin I.  and Küfrevioglu I. 2003. Determination of in vitro antioxidant activity of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seed extracts. Lebensmittel Wissenschaft and Technologie, 36: 263-271.
Omer T. I. 2001. Biochemical and Immunological changes in rabbits blood as influenced by dietary black cumin Nigella sativa seeds. M. V. Sc thesis, University of Khartoum.
Ozbek H., Ugras S., Dulger H., Bayram I., Tuncer I. and Ozturk G. 2003. Hepatoprotective effect of Foeniculum vulgare essential oil. Fitoterapia, 74: 317-319.
Pedernera M., Celi P., García S. C., Salvin H. E., Barchia I. and Fulkerson W. J. 2010. Effect of diet, energy balance and milk production on oxidative stress in early-lactating dairy cows grazing pasture. Veterinary Journal, 186: 352-357.
Piccione G., Caola G., Giannetto C., Grasso F., Calanni Runzo S., Zumbo A. and Pennisi P. 2009. Selected biochemical serum parameters in ewes during pregnancy, post-parturition, lactation and dry period. Animal Science Papers and Reports, 27: 321-330.
Pluske J. R. 2013. Feed and feed additives-related aspects of gut health and development in weanling pigs.Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, 4: 1.
Ramin, A. G., Asri S. and and Ajdani R. M. 2005. Correlations among serum glucose, beta hydroxybutyrate and urea concentration in non–pregnant ewes. Small Ruminant Research, 57(2): 265-269.
Renjie L. L. and Shi Shidi Z. 2010. GC-MS analysis of fennel essential oil and its effect on microbiology growth in rat’s intestine. African Journal of Microbiology Research, 4: 1319-1323.
Reynolds P. C., Aikman B., Lupoli D. J., Humphiries D. E. and Beever D. 2003.Splanchnic metabolism of dairy cows during the transition from late gestation through early lactation. Journal of Dairy Science, 86: 1201-1217.
Rezapour A. and Taghinejad-Roudbaneh M. 2011. Effects of food restriction on oxidative stress in ghezel ewes. Journal of Animal Veterinary Advances, 10: 980-986.
Riondel J., Wong H. K., Glise, D., Ducros V. and Favier A. 2002. The effect of a water-dispersible beta-carotene formulation on the prevention of age-related lymphoid neoplasms in mice. Anticancer Research, 22: 883-888.
Rook J. S. 2000. Pregnancy toxemia of ewes does and beef cow. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice, 16(2): 293-317.
Ruberto G., Baratta M. T., Deans S. G. and Dorman H. J. 2000. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of Foeniculum vulgare and Crithmum maritimum essential oils. Planta Medica, 66(8): 687-693.
Salinas-Rios T., Sánchez-Torres Esqueda M. T., Díaz-Cruz A., Cordero-Mora J. L., Guinzberg-Perrusquía R., Rabanales-Morales J. L., Figueroa-Velasco J. L. and Hernández-Bautista J. 2017. Oxidative state of ewes with different number of parity during gestation and lactation. Pesquisa Veterinaria Brasileira,37(12): 1405-1410.
Schlumbohm C. and Harmeyer J. 2004. Hyperketonemia impairs glucose metabolism in pregnant and nonpregnantewes. Journal of Dairy Science, 87(2): 350-358.
Silver M., Steven D. H. and Comline R. S. 1973. Placental exchange and morphology in ruminants and the mare. In: R. S. Comline, K. W. Cross, G. S. Dawes, and P. W. Nathanielsz, editors, Foetal and neonatal physiology; The Sir Joseph Barcroft century symposium. Cambridge University Press, London, UK. pp. 245-271.
Sogut B, Celik I. and Tuluce Y. 2008. The effects of diet supplemented with black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) upon immune potential and antioxidant marker enzymes and lipid peroxidation in broiler chicks. Journal of Animal Veterinary Advances, 7: 1196-1199.
Tainturier D., Braun J. P., Rico A. G. and Thouvenot J. P. 1984. Variations in blood composition in dairy cows during pregnancy and after calving. Research in Veterinary Science, 37: 129-131.
Tuluce Y., Ozkol H., Sogut B. and Celik I. 2009. Effects of nigella sativa onlipid peroxidation and reduced glutathione levels in erythrocytesof broiler chickens. Cell Membranes and Free Radical Research, 1:1-3.
Van Soest P. J., Robertson J. B. and Lewis B. A. 1991. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral etergent fiber, and non-starch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. Journal of Dairy Science, 74: 3583-3597.
Waller K. P. 2000. Mammary gland immunology around parturition, Influence of stress, nutrition and genetics. Advances in Medical Sciences and Biology, 480: 231-245.
Yang J., Li Y., Wang F. and Wu C. 2010. Hepatoprotective effects of applepolyphenols on CCl4-induced acute liver damage in mice. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58: 6525-6531.