The use of products capable of improving or maintaining liver function is increasing in recent years; this is the result of understanding the great role of the liver, for both health and animal production.
Some of the most common problems in dairy cows correspond to metabolic disorders such as hepatic lipidosis or some deficiency due to high milk production. This high demand in production affects the liver functions, which are especially necessary during gestation or during the period of increased milk production. This liver failure can become evident when 50% of the parenchyma is affected, but it is important not to reach that line.
Different types of natural substances with regenerative or antioxidant properties have been studied such as milk thistle or artichoke extract. In some studies, it has been investigated their effects on milk production, and the relationship of farrowing and the first service or the study of liver markers.
In these experiments an increase in milk production, a reduction in the time of farrowing to the first service was observed. However, the outcome of liver enzymes was variable, in some cases transaminase levels was altered.
In other species such as chickens or pigs, there have been studies were both liver enzymes and total protein or albumin have been evaluated to determine the functionality of the liver. They have also been evaluated productive parameters, in which best results are obtained with the use of liver regenerators especially after the involvement mycotoxins or hepatotoxic drugs. Greater weight gain in these cases is indicative of a correct protein metabolism done by the liver.
However, further study is needed to determine the effects of these products in the nutrition of cows and / or ruminants in general.