Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Control of ciliate protozoa in the rumen by using a mixture of saponin and stevia extracts


Ahmet Akcay

Recieved Date: 2020-07-14, Accepted Date: 2022-09-28


Many studies have reported the effect of saponins on ruminants both in vivo and in vitro such as removal of protozoa from the rumen microbial system, manipulation of the end products of fermentation and the methane mitigation. Engulfment and degradation of bacteria by protozoa in the rumen significantly reduce microbial protein flow from the rumen by causing rapid intra-rumen nitrogen cycling and then excreting excess ammonia in the urine. Saponins kill or damage protozoa via forming complexes with sterols in the protozoal membrane surface which cause impaired membrane. Saponins are safe, economical, and effective strategy which may decrease methane and eliminate loss of ingested feed energy for productive purposes. The experiment focused on the use of a saponin containing diet (ivy 10 g/animal/day) to improve nitrogen utilization and mitigation of the methane production by targeting protozoa and combining in the diet with a glucosidase inhibitor (stevia 20 g/animal/day) which subsequently, protects the saponins from degradation in the rumen flora. For this purpose eight cannulated sheep have been treated for 21 days with ivy (10 g/d), stevia (20 g/ d) or ivy+stevia (10+20 g/d) combinations. The results have not shown any significant changes (P<0.05) -for eight cannulated sheep-based on the apparent digestibility of nutrients, metabolic weight, N balance and methane production in ivy, stevia nor ivy+stevia diets comparing to the control group. Further investigations should be done to show the obvious effect of saponins on protozoa for different dosage, saponin contained plants with additional substrates/feeds (stevia).


Methane, protozoa, saponin, stevia, rumen

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2020
Volume: 18
Issue: 3&4
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 99-105

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