“We can get a lot of benefits from marine algae in animal production processes,” said Meng-Chou Lee, from the National Ocean University of Taiwan.

The 3rd edition of the “Olmix International Seminar on Animal Health and Nutrition: Algae to Reduce the use of Antibiotics” took place recently in Guangzhou, China. This year’s focus was on the risk of the overuse of antibiotics in animal production and how marine algae technology and its unique active molecules, the sulfated polysaccharides, can help to raise animals without antibiotics and chemical additives.

Michel Guillaume, Olmix’s Technical Director, established the direction of the conference by pointing out the high risk associated with an overuse of antibiotics. “There are several examples of bacterial resistance to antibiotics in Asia. Streptococcus suis is one of the most important causes of bacterial mortality in piglets and Streptococcus suis type 2 is an emerging human pathogen in Southeast Asia,” he said.

The conference then began to focus on the “incredible potential of algae” and their specific extracts, the algal-sulphated polysaccharides.

Meng-Chou Lee, from the National Ocean University of Taiwan, gave a presentation entitled “Seaweed in Animal Production.” According to Mr. Meng-Chou, “We can get a lot of benefits (from) marine algae in animal production processes – they can be used as nutritional supplements as well as providing vitamins and minerals. Seaweed can be used as natural antioxidants and neutralize the free radicals in vivo, while protecting the ingredients in the feed, regulate the immune system and prevent the spread of pathogens, among others. They even might reduce animals’ methane production without affecting growth and health.”

Dr. Hervé Demais, from the Biovet Conseil, explained how specific algal sulfated polysaccharides extracts (branded MSP®) interact with immunity in animal production: “Olmix MSP® has the capacity to increase specific immune response mediators’ expression by differentiated IPEC-1 cells – Olmix MSP extracted from Ulva armoricana green algae exhibits an anti-microbial activity, and stimulates cytokine expression by intestinal epithelial cells.”

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