E. Flemetakis, M. A. M. Abdullah, K. Sotirakoglou, E. Tsiplakou, N. E. Labrou, M. Chatzikonstantinou, D. Skliros, G. Zervas, A. Mavrommatis
The impact of dietary supplementation with microalgae on goat's milk chemical composition, fatty acids (FA) profile and enzymes activities related to antioxidant mechanism has not been well documented. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the effects of dietary inclusion of Chlorella vulgaris on the following: (i) milk yield, chemical composition and FA profile, (ii) the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione transferase (GST) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in blood plasma and (iii) the activities of SOD, GR and lactoperoxidase (LPO) in milk of goats. Furthermore, the oxidative stress indicators for measuring total antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity [ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) and 2, 2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) assays] and oxidative stress biomarkers [malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyls (PC)] were also determined in blood plasma and milk of the animals. For this purpose, 16 cross-bred goats were divided into two homogenous groups. Each goat of both groups was fed individually with alfalfa hay and concentrates separately. The concentrates of the control group (Control) had no microalgae, while those of the Chlorella group were supplemented with 10 g lyophilized Chlorella vulgaris/kg concentrates (Chlorella). Thus, the average intake was 5.15 g Chlorella vulgaris/kg DM. The results showed that the dietary inclusion of Chlorella vulgaris had not noticeable impact on goat's milk yield, chemical composition and FA profile. Significantly higher SOD (by 10.31%) and CAT (by 18.66%) activities in the blood plasma of goats fed with Chlorella vulgaris compared with the control were found. Moreover, the dietary supplementation with Chlorella vulgaris caused a significant increase in SOD (by 68.84%) activity and a reduction in PC (by 24.07%) content in goat's milk. In conclusion, the Chlorella vulgaris inclusion in goat's diets improved the antioxidant status of both animals and milk.