Dietary peppermint (Mentha piperita) powder affects growth performance, hematological indices, skin mucosal immune parameters, and expression of growth and stress-related genes in Caspian roach (Rutilus caspicus).Fish Physiol Biochem. 2020 Oct; 46(5):1883-1895.FP
Peppermint is a popular herbal medicine due to its several pharmaceutical applications. In this study, peppermint powder was used as a feed additive to evaluate growth performance, hematological parameters, protein profile of skin mucus, and immune parameters, as well as growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor (IGF), and 70 kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) gene expression in Caspian roach (Rutilus caspicus). The fingerlings (average weight of 2.40 ± 0.12 g) were fed with diet containing 0 (control), 2, 3, and 4 g/kg peppermint for 8 weeks. The addition of peppermint significantly enhanced the growth parameters and decreased the food conversion ratio. Hematological indices of fish fed with peppermint-supplemented diets were significantly different from the control group (P < 0.05). Soluble protein, alkaline phosphatase, and lysozyme enzyme activity in mucus samples showed an incremental trend by increasing the peppermint levels in the diet. Evaluation of mucosal immunity indicated a remarkable difference between the protein profile in treatments fed with peppermint-supplemented diets and the control group. A new protein band (approximately 27 kDa) was also found in the skin mucus of fish fed with the diet containing 4 g/kg peppermint, and the highest band density was observed in this treatment. The highest IGF and GH gene expression were observed in 4 g/kg peppermint treatment. There was a significant difference in HSP70 expression between the fish fed with peppermint powder and the control group (P < 0.05). Overall, the results showed that dietary oral administration of peppermint at 4 g/kg of feed can act as a growth promoter and immunostimulant.