Extracts Prepared from Feed Supplements Containing Wood Lignans Improve Intestinal Health by Strengthening Barrier Integrity and Reducing Inflammation

Mara Heckmann, Nadiia Sadova, Ivana Drotarova, Stefanie Atzmüller, Bettina Schwarzinger, Roberto Mauricio Carvalho Guedes, Paula Angelica Correia, Stefan Hirtenlehner, Christine Potthast, Gerald Klanert, Julian Weghuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Lignans are known to exhibit a broad spectrum of biological activities, indicating their potential as constituents of feed supplements. This study investigated two extracts derived from the feed supplements 'ROI' and 'Protect'-which contain the wood lignans magnolol and honokiol ('ROI'), or soluble tannins additional to the aforementioned lignans ('Protect')-and their impact on selected parameters of intestinal functionality. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the extracts were determined by measuring their effects on reactive oxygen species (ROS) and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in vitro. The impact on intestinal barrier integrity was evaluated in Caco-2 cells and Drosophila melanogaster by examining leaky gut formation. Furthermore, a feeding trial using infected piglets was conducted to study the impact on the levels of superoxide dismutase, glutathione and lipid peroxidation. The Protect extract lowered ROS production in Caco-2 cells and reversed the stress-induced weakening of barrier integrity. The ROI extract inhibited the expression or secretion of interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). Moreover, the ROI extract decreased leaky gut formation and mortality rates in Drosophila melanogaster. Dietary supplementation with Protect improved the antioxidant status and barrier integrity of the intestines of infected piglets. In conclusion, wood lignan-enriched feed supplements are valuable tools that support intestinal health by exerting antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and barrier-strengthening effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6327
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2022


  • Animal Feed/analysis
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology
  • Antioxidants/pharmacology
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drosophila melanogaster/metabolism
  • Glutathione
  • Humans
  • Inflammation/drug therapy
  • Interleukin-1beta/metabolism
  • Interleukin-6/metabolism
  • Interleukin-8/metabolism
  • Lignans/pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts/pharmacology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase/metabolism
  • Swine
  • Tannins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
  • Wood/metabolism
  • intestinal barrier
  • intestinal permeability
  • barrier integrity
  • feed supplements
  • wood lignans


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