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Lipids. 2003 Oct;38(10):1045-9.

Dietary alpha-linolenic acid increases the n-3 PUFA content of sow's milk and the tissues of the suckling piglet.

Author information

1
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3E2, Canada. rbazinet@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

alpha-Linolenic acid (18:3n-3) is a precursor to DHA (22:6n-3), which is essential for normal growth and development in the infant. This study was undertaken to assess how a raised 18:3n-3 intake in sows affects the n-3 PUFA content of the suckling piglet. Sows consumed a high-18:3n-3 or control diet (n-3 PUFA/n-6 PUFA, 0.5 vs. 0.05, respectively) for 10 d prior to parturition and for 14 d postpartum. Piglets suckled from their mothers until 14 d of age, when they were sacrificed. Sows consuming the high-18:3n-3 diet had 141% more 18:3n-3 and 86% more 22:6n-3 in their milk compared to control sows. There was no difference in the proximate composition of the piglets. The n-3/n-6 PUFA ratio was 82% higher in the milk of sows consuming the high-18:3n-3 diet compared to controls. Piglets suckling from sows consuming the high-18:3n-3 diet had 423% more 18:3n-3 in the carcass as well as a 460% higher n-3/n-6 PUFA ratio than controls. The piglets suckling from sows consuming the high-18:3n-3 diet had 333% more 18:3n-3 and 54% more 22:6n-3 in the liver, as well as a 114% higher n-3/n-6 ratio than control piglets. Piglets suckling from sows consuming a high-18:3n-3 diet also had 24% more 22:6n-3 and a 33% higher n-3/n-6 ratio in the brain compared to control piglets. A high 18:3n-3 intake in the sow increases not only the 18:3n-3 but also the 22:6n-3 content of sow's milk and the tissues of the suckling piglet.

PMID:
14669969
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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