Trehalose is composed of two molecules of D-glucose joined by an α,α-1,1 glucosidic linkage and has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. The present study investigated the effect of feeding a trehalose-supplemented diet on the growth performance, as well as the oxidative status and the intestinal innate immunity of juvenile chicks. A total of 16 d-old male broiler chicks were used in this study: two groups of 8 birds were fed on a 0% (control) or 0.5% trehalose-supplemented diet for 18 d. The mean body weight of the trehalose group was significantly greater than that of the control group, but feed efficiency was not altered by feeding the trehalose-supplemented diet. No differences in the levels of lipid peroxidation in skeletal muscle, liver and plasma were observed between the control and trehalose-supplemented groups. The mRNA levels of interferon-γ, tumour necrosis factor-like ligand 1A, interleukin-10, NADPH oxidase 4 and inducible NO synthase were significantly reduced by the trehalose supplementation. Our results suggest that dietary supplementation with trehalose after hatching may have beneficial effects on the growth performance of juvenile chicks, probably by improving their intestinal innate immunity.
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