Eucommia Leaf Extract: A Powerful Stimulant For the Growth of Pigs

Eucommia ulmoides(also known as Du Zhong in Chinese), is an important medicine tree native to China, has been traditionally used for various medicinal purposes. Its leaves are rich in beneficial compounds, such as lignans, iridoids, phenolics, steroids, chlorogenic acid, flavonoids and polysaccharides, which have been known for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory properties. This unique composition makes Eucommia leaf extract an ideal dietary supplement for pigs. In recent years, researchers have investigated numerous natural alternatives to improve the growth performance of pigs, aiming for sustainable livestock farming practices while reducing the use of conventional feed additives. A groundbreaking discovery in this field has been the effect of Eucommia leaf extract on enhancing the growth of pigs.

The use of Eucommia leaf extract in pig feed is a novel approach that has led to remarkable improvements in the overall growth performance of these animals. Several studies have demonstrated that eucommia leaf extract can improve growth performance, carcass traits, meat quality and muscular amino acid contents in pigs. This natural supplement has demonstrated the capacity to:
Bolster immune health
Eucommia is also known to enhance the immune system and promote bone growth. Pigs supplemented with Eucommia leaf extract are found to have stronger immune systems, providing them with better protection against infections and diseases. The flavonoids, chlorogenic acid and other active substances contained in Eucommia ulmoides leaf extract can enhance the differentiation of immune cells, improve the activity and response of immune cells, activate the immune system and enhance the development of immune organs of pigs, so as to enhance the disease resistance of pigs. This ensures healthy growth without the need for antibiotics.

Support gut health
Eucommia ulmoides is a traditional Chinese medicinal plant, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which contribute to the maintenance of a healthy gastrointestinal tract, aids in nutrient absorption and overall growth performance in pigs. Studies have shown that chlorogenic acid in Eucommia ulmoides leaf extract can inhibit a variety of bacteria and viruses such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, especially inhibit the reproduction of harmful bacteria in the intestinal tract of livestock and poultry, and promote the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract, which can effectively improve the intestinal microenvironment of pigs, and thus improve the intestinal function and health status, which is beneficial to reduce the diarrhea rate and improve the productivity of pigs.

Enhance feed efficiency and weight gain
Eucommia leaf extract has also been shown to enhance the efficiency with which pigs can utilize their feed. As a result, animals receiving the supplement can convert feed into body mass at a faster rate, leading to quicker growth. The inclusion of Eucommia leaf extract in pigs’ diets has been linked to a significant increase in average daily weight gain. This is due to the combination of bioactive compounds present, which work synergistically to promote the growth process.

Optimize meat quality
Certain compounds in Eucommia leaf extract are believed to support muscle growth, leading to an increase in lean body mass in piglets. It can lower cholesterol levels in mice and help regulate blood pressure. In a study on hamsters, Du-zhong extract supplemented to a high-fat diet decreased plasma triglyceride and total cholesterol concentrations. It also significantly increased HDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I levels.
Similarly, Eucommia ulmoides was found to boost adiponectin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations in growing-finishing pigs. It also lowered hepatic cholesterol concentrations in these animals.
In another study, plasma adiponectin and leptin levels were decreased in rats that were given a high-fat diet with an extract of Eucommia ulmoides leaf. This may be due to its antioxidant effects, which inhibit oxidative stress-related damage. This is especially crucial for fostering a more sustainably raised and healthier pork product.

Reduce blood pressure and blood sugar
Eucommia leaf extract is a traditional Chinese medicine used for a wide range of conditions. It has been shown to support the endocrine system, improve kidney function, strengthen bones and muscles, aid weight loss, and reduce blood pressure. A study in pigs found that a 5% eucommia extract supplement reduced blood pressure by blocking beta-adrenergic receptors. It also increased nitric oxide levels and improved arterial morphology. ​ One study found that a 1 g dose of the herb reduced blood pressure by 7.5 mmHg, compared to the control group. In addition, eucommia extracts may help protect against diabetes-related complications. This is likely because eucommia extracts can slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal, reducing insulin resistance and increasing sensitivity to insulin.

In conclusion, the use of Eucommia leaf extract in pig feed has emerged as a promising alternative to conventional growth-promoting methods. This innovative solution offers the livestock industry the opportunity to adopt an economically and environmentally sustainable approach while ensuring animal welfare and delivering a high-quality product.