Plant Secondary Metabolites in some Medicinal Plants of Mongolia Used for Enhancing Animal Health and Production

Tropicultura 01/2009;
Source: DOAJ

ABSTRACT The levels and activities of a number of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) are known to increase in response to increase in stress. The Mongolian plants considered to possess medicinal properties may contain novel compounds since they are exposed to severe conditions; such plants could become good candidates for modern drug discovery programmes. Information on distribution, palatability to livestock and opinion of local people on their nutritive and medicinal values was compiled for 15 plant materials from 14 plant species considered important for medicinal purposes. These plants were evaluated for nutritive value and PSMs: tannins, saponins, lectins, alkaloids and cyanogens. High levels of tannins were found in roots of Bergenia crassifolia and in leaves of B. crassifolia, Vaccinium vitisidaea and Rheum undulatum. High lectin activity (haemagglutination) was present in B. crassifolia roots, and leaves of R. undulatum, Iris lacteal and Thymus gobicus contained weak lectin activity. Tanacetum vulgare, Serratula centauroids, Taraxacum officinale and Delphinum elatum leaves contained saponin activity (haemolysis). Alkaloids and cyanogens were not present in any of the samples. The paper discusses the known medicinal uses of these plants in light of the PSMs levels, and identifies plant samples for future applications in human and livestock health, welfare and safety.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: New research directions in the last decade have led to major developments in the uses of plant lectins in bioscience and biomedicine. Major advances have been made in our understanding how lectins in the diet can act on the gastrointestinal tract and the physiological consequences of their actions, and how they can modulate body- and organ metabolism, the immune system and the gut microflora. Particularly striking progress has been made in unravelling the effects, often beneficial, of both orally- and parenterally administered lectins, including lectins of Viscum album-, Phaseolus vulgaris-, Robinia pseudoacacia, Agaricus bisporus, etc on tumours and in cancer therapy. Results have also made it possible to devise and try out other beneficial applications of plant lectins as gut-, metabolic- and hormonal regulators, immune reagents, probiotic/prebiotic oral supplements and to develop methods based on the oral application of lectins to protect the intestines against the often lethally harmful effects of chemo- and radiotherapy. With the development of genetically modified (GM) plants by transferring the genes of some of the natural insecticidal lectins such as the various Bacillus thuringiensis lectin-Cry toxins or some insecticidal plant lectins to major crop plants, a possible new avenue in plant protection may have opened up.
    Frontiers in Bioscience 02/2008; 13:1130-40. · 4.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Livestock and aquaculture production is under political and social pressure, especially in the European Union (EU), to decrease pollution and environmental damage arising due to animal agriculture. The EU has banned the use of antibiotics and other chemicals, which have been shown to be effective in promoting growth and reducing environment pollutants because of the risk caused to humans by chemical residues in food and by antibiotic resistance being passed on to human pathogens. As a result of this, scientists have intensified efforts in exploiting plants, plant extracts or natural plant compounds as potential natural alternatives for enhancing the livestock productivity. This paper discusses work on the effects of various phytochemicals and plant secondary metabolites in ruminant and fish species. The focus is on (i) plants such as Ananas comosus (pine apple), Momordica charantia (bitter gourd) and Azadirachta indica (neem) containing anthelmintic compounds and for their use for controlling internal parasites; (ii) plants containing polyphenols and their applications for protecting proteins from degradation in the rumen, increasing efficiency of microbial protein synthesis in rumen and decreasing methane emission; for using as antioxidants, antibacterial and antihelmintic agents; and for changing meat colour and for increasing n-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid in meat; (iii) saponin-rich plants such as quillaja, yucca and Sapindus saponaria for increasing the efficiency of rumen fermentation, decreasing methane emission and enhancing growth; for producing desired nutritional attributes such as lowering of cholesterol in monogastric animals; for increasing growth of fish (common carp and Nile tilapia) and for changing male to female ratio in tilapia; and for use as molluscicidal agents; (iv) Moringa oleifera leaves as a source of plant growth factor(s), antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and various glucosinolates and their degraded products for possible use as antibacterial, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antipest agents; (v) Jatropha curcas toxic variety with high levels of various phytochemicals such as trypsin inhibitor, lectin, phytate and phorbol esters in seeds limiting the use of seed meal in fish and livestock diets; and the use of phorbol esters as bio-pesticidal agent; and (vi) lesser-known legumes such as Entada phaseoloides seeds containing high levels of trypsin inhibitor and saponins, Sesbania aculeate seeds rich in non-starch polysaccharides and Mucuna pruriens var. utilis seeds rich in l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and their potential as fish feed; Cassia fistula seeds as a source of antioxidants; and the use of Canavalia ensiformis, C. gladiata and C. virosa seeds containing high levels of trypsin inhinitor, lectins and canavanine. The paper also presents some challenges and future areas of work in this field.
    animal 10/2007; 1(9):1371-91. · 1.78 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Saponins are steroid or triterpene glycoside compounds found in a variety of plants. Some saponin-containing plants, mainly legumes, have been used as animal feed, but others are toxic. Several studies on the effect of saponins on ruminant production have also been reported. Some in vitro and in vivo experiments that demonstrate the beneficial effects of saponin such as defaunation of the rumen and manipulation of the end products of fermentation are described. Defaunation is the selective removal of protozoa from the rumen microbial ecosystem by a cell membrane cholesterol-saponin interaction, which causes cell rupture. Because protozoa in the rumen cause protein turnover by predating on bacteria, defaunation increases the nitrogen utilization of the ruminant and may lead to an increase in growth, milk, or wool production. The growth-promoting effect was evident in the high roughage diet suggesting that the application of saponins or saponin-containing plant materials may be beneficial for the subsistence farmers in developing countries. Saponins are deglycosylated by rumen microbes. Some sapogenins have been detected in the digestive tract of ruminants; however, the direct action of these compounds on the host animal is still unclear. No information on the effects of saponin on ruminant reproduction is available. There is an urgent need for a systematic evaluation of the most active structural components of the saponins, and their interaction with the microbial community, the host animal, and the diet. Along with these studies, the direct effects of saponins or their microbial degradation products on the host must be examined in order to get the full understanding of the metabolism and beneficial effects of saponins on animals.
    Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 11/2005; 53(21):8093-105. · 3.11 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 28, 2014