Poultry Research at the University of Arkansas Can Teach Us a Lot About Chicken and Human Health

In *All, Livestock, Nutrition & Health by Ag is America

Walter Bottje is a poultry scientist and at the University of Arkansas, and has recently started researching the complex connection between human health and the poultry industry. He is curious about the impact chicken cells’ mitochondrial activity has on a bird’s ability to convert food into muscle.

It’s all about feed efficiency– the ability for chickens to turn feed nutrients into meat for production and human consumption. Bottje has found that animals with ability to turn feed nutrients into meat have a higher mitochondrial function and produce higher quality meat.

As well as being an important lesson for poultry farmers, there’s also a lot to be learned about human health. The cellular functions for the chickens can be compared to humans’, and if we had the same feed efficiency as these chickens, Bottje predicts we would gain extremely significant amounts of muscle weight in a matter of weeks.

“The discoveries that we and other researchers are making help in the overall understanding of diabetes and other health issues,” Bottje said. “We’re adding to the foundation of knowledge about the causes of obesity that are important in solving the health problem.”

For more information on University of Arkansas’ research on chickens, the impact on the poultry industry, and the lessons learned on human health, read more here.

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