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Br Poult Sci. 2008 Jan;49(1):55-64. doi: 10.1080/00071660701816949.

Effect of rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) on Japanese quail growth, egg production and plasma metabolites.

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  • 1Institute of Animal Biochemistry and Genetics, Ivanka pri Dunaji, Slovak Republic.

Erratum in

  • Br Poult Sci. 2008 May;49(3):379.


1. Birds have been proposed as a suitable model for studies on ageing because of their long life in comparison with similar-sized mammals. However, some weak fliers, such as Galliformes, are the exception to this rule. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of the treatment with rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis), a natural source of flavonoid antioxidants and compounds with phyto-oestrogenic activity, on postnatal development and egg production of aged Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). 2. Substitution of drinking water with traditional rooibos tea or diet supplementation with ground rooibos tea affected body weight of Japanese quail up to 100 d of age. The body weight of males drinking rooibos tea or eating rooibos-supplemented food decreased significantly. There was a trend toward increased body weight of tea drinking females and a significant increase in the body weight of hens fed the rooibos-supplemented diet. Although rooibos treatment did not significantly increase egg production in young hens, the decrease in egg production of rooibos-treated aged hens (360 d of age) was significantly reduced, regardless of the egg production levels (high - 80%; low - 20%) before the treatment. 3. The results suggest that treatment with rooibos tea positively affected body weight and egg production in quail hens and prolonged the productive period of aged animals. Further studies would be needed to address the question whether these effects are due to the antioxidant or phyto-oestrogenic activities of rooibos.

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