Capsaicin supplemented feed and its effects on stress modulation in Nile tilapia and Coho salmon

Paul D McCain, Purdue University


Aquaculture is not only a lucrative enterprise but also has a great deal of value from both social and ecological standpoints. One of the main concerns in aquaculture is the prevention of illness. In the past this has been treated in a blanket manner with antibiotics. Over use of antibiotics is proven to lead to pathogens resisting their effects. Alternative treatments are being studied in order to reduce the impact of antibiotic use. These methods include stress reduction in order to boost overall health of an organism. This in turn will lead to improved disease resistance and larger yields. In this study properties of the nutraceutical capsaicin were assessed in order to determine its effects on several stress bio-markers in two species of teleost fish. Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) were fed a diet supplemented with capsaicin for 8 weeks, and a stressor was used in order to ascertain capsaicin's ability to modulate said stress in comparison with control animals. Biomarkers; plasma cortisol, blood glucose, spleen somatic index, packed cell volume, plasma protein, condition factor, and macrophage phagocytic activity were assessed bi-weekly during the trial. The results of ANOVA comparison indicated that capsaicin produced no statistically significant differences between fish receiving the capsaicin and those which did not. A cluster based analysis using WEKA data mining software confirmed the findings that at 0.02% of the diet, capsaicin produced no statistically significant differences.




Mustafa, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Physiology|Aquatic sciences

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