Perspectives for rare earth elements as feed additive in livestock - A review

  • Tariq, Hujaz (Animal Nutrition Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute (Deemed University)) ;
  • Sharma, Amit (Department of Animal Nutrition, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University) ;
  • Sarkar, Srobana (ICAR- Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute) ;
  • Ojha, Lamella (Animal Nutrition Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute (Deemed University)) ;
  • Pal, Ravi Prakash (Animal Nutrition Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute (Deemed University)) ;
  • Mani, Veena (Animal Nutrition Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute (Deemed University))
  • Received : 2019.03.22
  • Accepted : 2019.06.30
  • Published : 2020.03.01


There is a need for newer feed additives due to legal prohibition on inclusion of growth promoting antibiotics in livestock diets in several countries due to antimicrobial resistance. In this context, rare earth elements (REE) have gained attention among animal nutritionists as potential growth promoters. Currently, several studies have reported better weight gain, milk production, egg laying capacity and feed conversion efficiency among different breeds of farm animals following supplementation with REE, with however largely inconsistent results. Furthermore, REE supplementation has also shown to improve ruminal fibrolytic and proteolytic activities as well as flavor of meat with negligible residues in edible tissue, however the mechanism behind this action is still unclear. According to existing research, due to their poor absorption and similarity with calcium REE might exert their action locally on gut microbial populations within the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Moreover, REE have also shown anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative as well as immune stimulating effects. The present review aims to broaden the knowledge about use of REE as feed additives for livestock and sum up efficacy of REE supplementation on performance and health of animals by comparing the findings. Till date, researches with REE have shown properties that make them a promising, new and safe alternative feed additive but further exploration is recommended to optimize effects and clarify discrepancy of various results before practical proposals can be drafted.


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