Study: Hemp Seed May Reduce Copper Toxicity, Has “Therapeutic Role” in Animal Feed

Hemp seed supplementation “showed significant improved results against copper toxicity” and “could be recommended as an animal feed ingredient for its therapeutic role”, according to new research.

The research is being published in the May, 2023 issue of the journal Biological Trace Element Research, with the abstract epublished online ahead of print by the National Library of Medicine. The study was conducted by reseatchers from Quaid-I-Azam University, the Islamia College Peshawar and University of Sialkot, all in Pakistan.

“For decades hemp has been used as a therapeutic agent for enhancing immunity in animals”, states the study’s abstract. “Current study was conceptualized to find out the protective role of dietary hemp seed products (hemp seed oil (HO) and hemp seed (HS)) against copper-induced toxicity in fish.”

For the study fingerlings of Labeo rohita (Rohu) and Cirrhinus mrigala (Mrigal) were exposed to copper for 30 days. Following copper exposure, fish were maintained on two types of hemp (Cannabis sativa)-supplemented feeds, on graded levels of hemp seed oil (HO: 1%, 2%, 3%) and hemp seed (HS: 5%, 10%, 15%) for 50 days, while one group was the control (without any copper exposure as well as any supplementation).

“Copper exposure significantly increased (P < 0.05) WBCs, hematocrit, MCHV, eosinophils, and lymphocytes in L. rohita and also in C. mrigala as compared to control”, states the study. “Copper exposure also significantly (P < 0.05) changed lysozymes, plasma protein, and IgM in both species, in comparison to control.”

Moreover, “alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase, and aspartate transaminase were significantly (P < 0.05) changed by copper exposure in comparison to control in both species. Additionally, Antioxidant enzymes like catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione peroxidase were also significantly (P < 0.05) increased in the brain, gills, liver, and muscle of copper-exposed group in both species as compared to control.”

Interestingly, all the altered parameter of blood, serum, liver function tests, and antioxidant enzymes (in different organs) because of copper toxicity “were successfully reverted to normal level in hemp seed oil (HO) and hemp seed (HS)-supplemented fed groups of both species.”

In conclusion, “hemp seed supplementation showed significant (P < 0.05) improved results against copper toxicity. Thus, it could be recommended as an animal feed ingredient for its therapeutic role.”

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