01 Dec Cinnamon helps you to control coccidiosis
THE IMPORTANCE OF COCCIDIOSIS
Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract of farm animals (poultry, swine, rabbits, many species of ruminants) that leads to considerable economical losses. It is caused by protozoa of the genuses Eimeria and Isospora, among others. The disease spreads from one animal to another by contact with infected feces or ingestion of conatminated tissues. Signs of coccidiosis range from decreased growth rate and poor production parameters to a high percentage of visibly sick animals, severe diarrhea and high mortality.
Continuous use of the available anticoccidial drugs has led to the emergence of drug-resistant strains of coccidia. New drugs should be made available to replace the anticoccidials that are not anymore effective, but it takes a long time and efforts to develop new active compounds. In the recent years, some vaccines have been launched but in many cases they are expensive and not fully effective against new resistant strains.
Recently, some phyto-active ingredients have been found useful to prevent and to ameliorate infections by coccidia, demonstrating that they are an alternative or complement to current prevention strategies.
CINNAMON, THE SPICE OF EMPERORS AND GODS
Belonging to the Lauraceae family, the Cinnamomum genus (cinnamon) is a very popular spice throughout the world. It was mentioned for the first time in a Chinese book called “The Classic of Herbal Medicine”, attributed to emperor Shennong, as early as 2800 BC. The Taoists regarded it as the food of gods.
To the Ancient Egyptians, cinnamon was more valuable than solid gold. It also appeared in the death rites of the ancient Greeks and Romans, crackling from their funeral pyres. It has been a very valuable spice in the international trade until the seventeenth century.
Picture of “The Classic of Herbal Medicine”, attributed to emperor Shennong (Image found here)
Besides its medicinal applications, cinnamon is recognized for its flavor and aroma. It is a substance generally recognized as a safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is also in the list of approved food additives in China and in the European list of feed additives.
Cinnamon powder extracts, oils and some of its active compounds are indeed effective against large variety of organisms including Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria, fungi, protozoa, mites and nematodes.
PRACTICAL USE OF CINNAMON AGAINST COCCIDIOSIS
Cinnamon acts against coccidia through two main mechanisms of action:
1) Direct exposure of oocysts to cinnamon or its active compounds leads to lysis and death of the cells. In vitro tests show its effectivity at concentrations between 10 to 500 μg/ml (Remmal et al, 2013).
2) Cinnanmon and its active compounds are able to stimulate protective innate immunity responses against infection by coccidia. It has been proved, both through in vitro laboratory trials and through in vivo farm trials with infected animals, that they enhance certain metabolic activities of lymphocytes and macrophages. (Hyen Lee at al, 2011; Lillehoj, 2014 )
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