The use of inulin in poultry feeding: a review

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Since the European Union enforced the ban on antibiotic growth promoters in 2006, the research has been focused on natural feed additives which would have a proven positive impact on both production and animal health. Inulin is both the most commonly used and the most effective probiotic additive. The mechanism of inulin interactions with the avian body is complex, multidirectional and not fully understood. Despite a number of unresolved issues, many authors have demonstrated the positive impact of inulin on the host organism. Dietary supplementation of poultry feeding with inulin contributes to the modulation of intestinal microbiota through favouring a quick proliferation of beneficial Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains and inhibiting the growth of pathogenic microbes. There are indications that inulin-provoked changes in the host gut microbiota in poultry may alter the structure and histomorphology of the intestinal mucosa and improve its absorption capacity in poultry. It has also been demonstrated that inulin may affect the immune system and the systemic metabolism of minerals and lipids. The reports on inulin effects on the body and performance of poultry are often contradictory, as the effectiveness of this prebiotic is strongly dependent on the type and dose used, and the duration of its administration.

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