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Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Sep;49(9):2320-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2011.06.033. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

Evaluation of bioequivalency and toxicological effects of three sources of arachidonic acid (ARA) in domestic piglets.

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Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are routinely added to infant formula to support growth and development. We evaluated the bioequivalence and safety of three ARA-rich oils for potential use in infant formula using the neonatal pig model. The primary outcome for bioequivalence was brain accretion of ARA and DHA. Days 3-22 of age, domestic pigs were fed one of three formulas, each containing ARA at ∼0.64% and DHA at ∼0.34% total fatty acids (FA). Control diet ARA was provided by ARASCO and all diets had DHA from DHASCO (Martek Biosciences Corp., Columbia, MD). The experimental diets a1 and a2 provided ARA from Refined Arachidonic acid-rich Oil (RAO; Cargill, Inc., Wuhan, China) and SUNTGA40S (Nissui, Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan), respectively. Formula intake and growth were similar across all diets, and ARA was bioequivalent across treatments in the brain, retina, heart, liver and day 21 RBC. DHA levels in the brain, retina and heart were unaffected by diet. Liver sections, clinical chemistry, and hematological parameters were normal. We conclude that RAO and SUNTGA40S, when added to formula to supply ∼0.64% ARA are safe and nutritionally bioequivalent to ARASCO in domestic piglets.

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