17 Feb 2021

Importance of hepatic protectors in the performance of broilers

Content available in: Español (Spanish)The liver is the organ with higher vital functions for the animal organism, from which three […]

Importance of hepatic protectors in the performance of broilers

Content available in:
Español (Spanish)

The liver is the organ with higher vital functions for the animal organism, from which three of them are the most relevant:


It acts as a filter that processes and removes toxins from waste produced by the metabolism itself, toxins and harmful chemicals from the environment, and microorganisms eliminated by Kupffer cells.

Cobbcares INT digestFast


It is the body’s primary energy storage organ due to the high glycogen levels (a source of carbohydrates) and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) that it is capable of storing.


Continue after advertising.

It plays a significant role in the digestion and metabolization of nutrients (carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins) from the stimulation of bile acid synthesis.

The liver has a key role as the center of a series of metabolic and productive activities. Its level of activity will be directly proportional to the level at which the metabolism works.

This implies that during animal growth in intensive production systems, the liver is potentially exposed to damage caused by a wide variety of harmful substances derived from different metabolic processes (e.g., reactive oxygen species) and derived from other external to the body itself (xenobiotics).

As a consequence, under these conditions, the liver activity can be a limiting factor for productivity. In this way, using a liver protector in the feed will prevent this activity from decreasing, significantly improving the farm’s performance.

Under these premises, the use of a hepatoprotective additive in feed has two fundamental objectives:


Liver protectors work by defending the liver from toxins and stimulating its function, leading to improvements in health, growth, and production.

There are two different types on the market:

Both can be in liquid or powder form. Liquid liver protectants are added to drinking water. They are generally used for healing purposes since birds affected by liver problems tend to decrease significantly their feed intake, but their fluid intake does not.

In all other situations, when used for preventive purposes, powdered liver protectors are the most widely used because they are more profitable.


The Livoliv 250® polyherbal mixture’s hepatoprotective efficacy was evaluated in 180 male Ross chickens from a commercial farm. They were transported 20 days after birth to a specific house where they received different feeding programs.

The 180 animals were divided into 6 repetitions of 3 groups of 10 animals each:

At the end of the study, blood samples were obtained to evaluate the differences between treatments with respect to serum markers of liver inflammation; Aspartate transaminase (AST), and Alkaline phosphatase (ALP).

For the statistical study, an alpha of 5% was chosen.

The addition of oxidized soybean oil and high ferrous sulfate levels in the feed slightly reduced the growth performance but not significantly.

Supplementation with 250 g of polyherbal mixture per ton of feed significantly improved feed conversion ratio and body weight during the intoxication phase (days 20 to 31), indicating that this polyherbal mixture allows the liver to use the oil of oxidized soybeans as an energy source.


Optimizing the use of balanced feeds and increasing productivity are two of the most important aspects of the poultry industry.

Due to the importance of the liver has in digestion, absorption, and metabolization of nutrients, the use of liver protectors that stimulate its ability to eliminate harmful products, such as mycotoxins, heavy metals, pesticides, etc., is key.

Besides, carrying out adequate transport and the use of nutrients to guarantee an adequate recovery of the diet will improve the feed conversion index, development efficiency, and production performance. It will maximize the investment return made in the food.

Related to Animal Nutrition


Subscribe now to the poultry technical magazine


Access the PDF articles
Keep up to date with our newsletters
Receive the magazine for free in digital version

AgriFM - The Livestock Sector Podcasts in English
agriCalendar - The events calendar of the agricultural worldagriCalendar
agrinewsCampus - Training courses for the livestock sector