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J Dairy Sci. 2004 Mar;87(3):645-51.

Disappearance of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids from cultures of mixed ruminal microorganisms.

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1
Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA. aabugha@clemson.edu

Abstract

Previous studies showed conflicting results regarding the ability of ruminal microorganisms to hydrogenate docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6, DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5, EPA). To determine the disappearance of DHA and EPA from mixed ruminal cultures, 2 ruminal in vitro experiments were conducted using graded levels of DHA and EPA. The first experiment examined DHA added at 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 mg per culture flask. In the second experiment, EPA was added at 0, 5, 10, and 15 mg per culture flask. Docosahexaenoic acid and EPA were incubated in triplicate in 125-mL flasks, and 5 mL of culture contents was taken at 0, 12, and 24 h for fatty acid analysis by gas liquid chromatography. After 24 h of incubation, 4.1, 4.1, 4.0, and 3.3 mg of DHA disappeared from the 5, 10, 15, and 20 mg of DHA cultures, respectively. In the second experiment, 5, 8.3, and 7.1 mg of EPA disappeared after 24 h of incubation for the 5-, 10-, and 15-mg EPA cultures, respectively. Addition of DHA to cultures increased trans-C18:1 fatty acid accumulation by 105, 91, 82, and 74% for the 5, 10-, 15-, and 20-mg cultures, respectively, compared with control. The addition of EPA increased trans-C18:1 fatty acid accumulation by 56, 64, and 55% for the 5-, 10-, and 15-mg EPA cultures, respectively, compared with control. Addition of DHA and EPA to cultures caused a reduction in C18:1 n-9 and C18:2 n-6 biohydrogenation compared with control. Results from these experiments clearly demonstrate the ability of ruminal microorganism to transform DHA and EPA to other fatty acids causing their disappearance from cultures.

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