Pomegranate peel as a natural antioxidant boosts bucks' fertility under Egyptian summer conditions

Hassan S. Zeweil, Samar Elnagar, Soliman M. Zahran, Mohamed H. Ahmed, Yassmine El-Gindy

Abstract

Exposure of male rabbits to heat stress during summer adversely affects their fertility, leading to major production losses. A total of 16 male rabbits were randomly divided into 4 experimental groups exposed to temperatures ranging from a high of 30.3 to a low of 27.3 °C. Animals from first to fourth groups were fed diets containing 0, 1.5, 3.0, or 4.5% pomegranate peel (PP) to evaluate the ability of PP feeding to enhance bucks’ reproductive status. Pomegranate peel treatments significantly increased ejaculate volume by 19, 18 and 12%, increased seminal plasma fructose by 7, 18, and 24%, improved sperm motility by 28, 34 and 49%, increased sperm total output by 37, 69 and 102% and reduced dead sperm by 24, 32 and 64% with diets containing 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5% of PP compared to the heat stressed control animals. Seminal plasma total lipids, cholesterol and triglycerides increased while alkaline phosphatase decreased with PP treatments. Seminal plasma total antioxidant capacity increased to reach 126, 143 and 191% with diets containing 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5% of PP, while lipid peroxide (malondialdehyde) levels decreased significantly to reach around 54% of the heat stressed bucks’ value with the three PP dietary doses used. It was concluded that supplementations of PP in the diet of bucks during summer season in Egypt can improve their semen characteristics, probably due to their antioxidant actions.


Keywords

rabbit; heat stress; pomegranate peel; sperm; antioxidant

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References

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