Improving broiler chickens’ health by using lecithin and lysophosphatidylcholine emulsifiers: a comparative analysis of physiological indicators

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Institute of Animal Rearing Technologies, Veterinary Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, LT-47181, Kaunas, Lithuania

2 MSc Student in Animal Sciences, Institute of Animal Rearing Technologies, Veterinary Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, LT-47181, Kaunas, Lithuania

3 Dr. L. Kriaučeliūnas Small Animal Clinic, Veterinary Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania

4 Institute of Animal Science, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Baisogala, Lithuania

5 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Veterinary Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania



Background: Lipids play a vital function in a bird’s body and to improve the lipids utilization and their absorption in a bird’s digestive system, emulsifiers are suggested. Aims: This study evaluated and compared the effects of lecithin (LEC) and lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) emulsifiers on broiler chicken’s productivity traits and physiological indicators such as blood plasma parameters, intestine traits, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) profile in caecum’s content, caecum’s villus height and crypt depth and their ratio. Methods: 900 Ross 308 broiler chickens were assigned to 3 groups with 6 replicate pens and fed with a standard compound diet (SCD) and an SCD supplemented with 0.05% LEC and 0.05% LPC. Body weight (BW), average daily gain (ADG), daily feed intake (DFI), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and dry matter (DM) content of the litter were recorded. At the end of the trial, 10 birds from each group were randomly selected and euthanized. Blood samples were collected, and blood plasma analysis was performed. Intestinal samples were collected post-mortem and intestinal traits, SCFA profiles, and intestinal histomorphometric were measured. Results: The inclusion of lysophosphatidylcholine significantly increased the broilers’ BW and ADG at their fifth week of age (P<0.05). Lecithin increased the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL/C) concentration in blood plasma (P<0.05). Butyric and isovaleric acid concentrations significantly increased by LPC and reduced by LEC (P<0.05). Lecithin and LPC caecum’s villus heights were significantly increased (P<0.05), and caecum’s crypt depth was also increased in LEC compared to SCD (P<0.05). Conclusion: As an emulsifier, lysophosphatidylcholine can improve the broilers’ weight, but LEC showed better effects on their physiological indicators by improving intestinal mucosal absorption areas in caecum.


Main Subjects

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