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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2007;20(6): 894-899.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2007.894    Published online May 2, 2007.
Effects of Plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) Herb and Heat Exposure on Plasma Glucose Metabolism in Sheep
M. Al-Mamun, C. Tanaka, Y. Hanai, Y. Tamura, H. Sano*
Correspondence:  H. Sano,
An experiment was conducted using a [6, 6-2H]glucose isotope dilution method to determine the effects of plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) on plasma glucose metabolism in sheep taken from a thermoneutral environment and exposed to a hot environment. The sheep were fed either mixed hay (MH) of orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) and reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) at a 60:40 ratio or MH and plantain (PL) at a 9:1 ratio in a crossover design for each 23-day period. In both dietary treatments the metabolizable energy (ME) and crude protein intake were designed to be isoenergetic and isoproteinous at around maintenance level. The sheep were taken from a thermoneutral environment (20??C, 70% RH) and exposed to a hot environment (28-30??C, 70% RH) for 5 days. The isotope dilution method using a single injection of [6, 6-2H]glucose was performed on the 18th day of the thermoneutral environment and on the 5th day of heat exposure. Plasma glucose pool size was numerically lower (p = 0.26) during heat exposure on both dietary treatments, and numerically higher (p = 0.13) on the MH diet irrespective of environmental temperature. Plasma NEFA concentration (p = 0.01) and glucose turnover rate (p = 0.03) were decreased during heat exposure, but remained similar between diets. It could be concluded that, although no positive impact of plantain on glucose metabolism was found under the present experimental conditions (plantain constituted only 10% of basal diet), plantain herb is an alternative to MH for rearing sheep in both thermoneutral and hot environments.
Keywords: Plantain Herb; Heat Exposure; Stable Isotope; Glucose Metabolism; Sheep

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