Effects of Milk Thistle, Artichoke and Olive Extracts in Comparison with Atorvastatin and Gemfibrozil on Liver Function in Broiler Chicken

Document Type: Original Paper


Department of Animal Sciences, Agriculture Faculty, Lorestan University, Khorramabad, Iran


One hundred forty four 10-day old male Arbor Acres (320±5g) broiler chicks were used to compare the responses in liver function to dietary supplementation of milk thistle (Silybum marianum), artichoke (Cichorium intybus) and olive (Olea europaea) extracts with gemfibrozil and atorvastatin, in broiler chickens fed with a lipogenic diet. Birds raised in the standard experimental conditions and received a pelleted grower diet (control) supplemented with milk thistle (250 mg/kg), artichoke (200 mg/kg), olive (150 mg/kg) extracts, atorvastatin (20 mg/kg) and gemfibrozil (1800 mg/kg) up to day 42 of age. Liver weight and liver fat parentages were 1.62 and 6.04%, respectively, in the birds fed with the un-supplemented basal diet (control) and modified by +0.21 and -2.13, +0.11 and -1.21, +0.14 and -1.40, -0.07 and -2.36, +0.07 and -0.38% in the birds received milk thistle, artichoke, olive extracts, gemfibrozil, and atorvastatin, respectively. The milk thistle-added diet elicited a significant reduction in serum activity of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase at day 35 of age. Dietary olive extract at 150 mg/kg reduced liver fat at day 35 of age compared with those grown on the basal diet (P < 0.05). The serum concentration of triglycerides was lower (P < 0.05) in the birds fed with diets enriched with artichoke (34.86 mg/dL) and olive extract (40.63 mg/dL) compared with those fed with the supplemented control diet at day 35 of age. It was concluded that milk thistle exerted greater promising hepatoprotective effects compared with other remedies. Gemfibrozil exhibited a greater hepatoprotective and blood lipid-lowering effect than atorvastatin in broiler chicken.