The effects of different doses of onion (Allium cepa. L) extract on leptin, ghrelin, total antioxidant capacity, and performance of suckling lambs

  • M. Amiri
  • G. A. Jelodar
  • H. Erjaee
  • Saeed NazifiEmail author
Original Article


Application of antibiotics in livestock production has been a big concern in the recent years since they can have a vital role in the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Therefore, scientists and nutritionists have been searching for alternative agents to alter ruminal metabolism and improve feed efficiency and animal productivity. In this respect, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of onion extract on leptin, ghrelin, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and the performance of suckling lambs. Eighteen Torki Qashqai suckling lambs with 30 days of age were randomly divided into three groups, including (1) control group; basement diet without onion extract + sheep milk, (2) T150 group; basement diet containing 150 mg/kg onion extract + sheep milk, (3) T250 group; basement diet containing 250 mg/kg onion extract + sheep milk. The trial lasted for 60 days and the blood samples were taken on days 30 and 60 of the experiment. The results showed that the addition of onion extract led to an increase in the feed intake and daily weight in lambs. Moreover, onion extract was able to increase the level of ghrelin and reduce leptin hormone in the treatment groups (T150 and T250). In conclusion, it could be said that onion extract has a promising effect as a feed additive in ruminant nutrition and has the ability to improve feed intake in these animals. Moreover, onion extract has a positive effect on concentrations of leptin, ghrelin, TAC, and the performance in lambs.


Onion extract Leptin Ghrelin Total antioxidant capacity Lambs 



The authors would like to thank the Research Council of Shiraz University and School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University for their financial and technical support of this study (Grant No. 71-GR-VT-5).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Animal ethics

All animal experiments were approved by the State Committee on Animal Ethics, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran (IACUC no: 4687/63). The recommendations of the European Council Directive (86/609/EC) of November 24, 1986, regarding the standards in the protection of animals used for experimental purposes, were also followed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Basic Sciences, School of Veterinary MedicineShiraz UniversityShirazIran
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary MedicineShiraz UniversityShirazIran

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