The effects of lemon verbena (Lippia citriodora) verbascoside on the productive performance, plasma oxidative status, and some blood metabolites in suckling lambs
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University of Molise, Department of Agriculture, Environmental and Food, Via De Sanctis snc – 86100 Campobasso, Italy
University of Bari, Department of Animal Production, Via Amendola 165/A – 70126 Bari, Italy
University of Milan, Department of Veterinary Science and Technologies for Food Safety, Via Celoria, 10 – 20133 Milano, Italy
Publication date: 2013-09-02
Corresponding author
D. Casamassima   

University of Molise, Department of Agriculture, Environmental and Food, Via De Sanctis snc – 86100 Campobasso, Italy
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2013;22(3):204-212
The effects of two doses of a verbascoside-based dietary supplement on performance, some blood parameters, and plasma oxidative status in Lacaune suckling lambs were investigated. Twenty-four lambs were divided into three groups of eight animals each and fed per os a dietary supplement with a plant extract from Lippia citriodora containing a phenylpropanoid glycoside, verbascoside: the low-verbascoside (LVB) group received 2.5 mg per animal per day of natural extract, the high-verbascoside (HVB) group received 5.0 mg per animal per day, the control group (CON) did not receive dietary supplementation. The body weight, average daily gain, milk consumption and milk conversion index were determined for the experimental and control animals and blood samples were taken from all lambs. Dietary supplementation with verbascoside in both the LVB and HVB groups resulted in improved average daily gain (P < 0.01), milk consumption (p < 0.05), and serum lipid profile; the groups showed a decrease in triglycerides (p < 0.05) and an increase in high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (p < 0.05). Plasma oxidative status in lambs supplemented with verbascoside showed an improvement in homoeostatic stability that induced a significant decrease in reactive oxygen metabolites (P < 0.01) and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (p < 0.05) concentrations and a marked increase in serum concentrations of vitamin E (P < 0.01) and vitamin A (p < 0.05).
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