• Toxification and detoxification of plant compounds by ruminants: An overview

      Smith, G. S. (Society for Range Management, 1992-01-01)
      Improved usage of rangelands for livestock production requires better ways to reduce losses caused by poisonous plants, such as management practices to minimize ingestion and treatments to improve animal tolerance of ingested poisonous plants. In ruminants, gastrointestinal microbes can detoxify plant compounds, and this capacity has been enhanced in a few cases by deliberate modification of rumen microbial populations. Some plants are poisonous because ingested plant material is made toxic by microbial fermentation in the rumen, and better understanding of such toxifications will provide opportunities to diminish poisonings of that type. Absorption of toxic substances from the gastrointestinal tract into blood and lymph may be modified by feeding binding agents such as clay, resins, and indigestible fibers, or by pharmaceuticals that interfere with absorption of toxicants. Agents that induce or inhibit biotransformational enzymes in tissues of the host animal might modify animal tolerance of some plant toxicants. Provision of substances that serve as co-substrates of detoxification can enhance animal tolerance of other types of plant toxicants. Some reports that illustrate these approaches have been reviewed, and questions have been raised to stimulate further research.