The Effects of Cooling Pads and Moringa Oliefera on Oxidative Stress in Heat Stresses Sows

Student Classification

Sydney Roberts, 4th year

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Radiah Minor


Department of Animal Sciences

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023


Pigs are particularly sensitive to high temperatures and heat stress (HS). (HS) negatively affects pig performance and drives oxidative stress. In sows, oxidative stress, i.e., the imbalance in the levels of antioxidants and reactive oxygen species, leads to cell damage and decreased milk production, ultimately negatively impacting piglet health and growth. Global warming and concomitant increases in temperatures create a need for ways to alleviate the negative impacts of heat stress. The goal of this study was to test whether cooling pads or feed supplementation with Moringa oleifera, an antioxidant rich plant, would reduce oxidant stress in heat stressed sows. For this study, a two-by-two factorial design using multiparous sows (n=48) was used. All sows were housed under HS conditions, beginning at late gestation and throughout lactation and placed in one of four treatment groups (n=12 in each group): (1) HS + control diet (HS); (2) HS + control diet + cooling pads (HSC); (3) HS + Moringa (4%) (HSM); and (4) HSC + cooling pads + Moringa (4%) (HSCM). To determine the impact of these treatments on oxidative stress of sows during gestation and lactation, the levels of derivatives of oxygen metabolites (d-ROMs) and biological antioxidant potential (BAP) in the serum were analyzed. Here we report preliminary evidence that whereas cooling decreased dROM levels, HS sows that ate Moringa had higher levels of both d-ROMs and BAP. Suggesting that cooling or Moringa may be used to alleviate HS stress related oxidative stress in sows.

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