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Dose-response effect of fish oil substitution in parturition feed on erythrocyte membrane characteristics and sow performance

Cools, A., Maes, D., Papadopoulos, G., Vandermeiren, J.-A., Meyer, E., Demeyere, K., De Smet, S., Janssens, G.P.J.
Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition 2011 v.95 no.1 pp. 125-136
cell membranes, dietary fat, dose response, erythrocytes, fatty acid composition, fish oils, lard, omega-3 fatty acids, oxidative stability, parturition, piglets, polyunsaturated fatty acids, pork, pregnancy, reproductive performance, sows, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, weaning, weaning weight
The present study aimed to investigate whether n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) incorporate into erythrocyte membranes of peripartal sows in a dose-responsive manner and whether the altered fatty acid profile affects the cell membrane characteristics. At day 109 of gestation (day 0), 51 sows were divided into five treatment groups. Each group received a diet with a different ratio of fish oil to pork lard for nine consecutive days. Blood samples were taken at day 0 and 10 days later. The fatty acid profile of erythrocytes was determined, as well as the osmotic fragility and oxidative stability of erythrocytes. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) were determined in plasma samples. Finally, reproductive and performance parameters of both sows and piglets were recorded until weaning. Supplementation of fish oil during the peripartal period changed the fatty acid profile of erythrocyte membranes in a dose-responsive manner. Although the n-3 PUFA content of erythrocyte membranes increased with increasing amounts of fish oil in the diet, no significant effect on erythrocyte osmotic fragility could be recorded. In contrast, oxidative stability of erythrocytes decreased linearly with increasing amounts of fish oil in the diet. Similarly, both TBARS and FRAP linearly increased with increasing percentages of fish oil in the diet. Neither piglet nor sow performance was influenced by dietary treatments, except for a decrease of both piglet survival and weaning weight with increasing quantities of fish oil supplemented. It is concluded that changes in dietary lipid sources can affect the membrane's fatty acid profile within days, and mainly influences oxidative stability of the cells.