The effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in swine diets on performance parameters, tissue characteristics, and fatty acid composition
Meers, Suzanne A.
MetadataShow full item record
Four experiments were conducted to determine the effects of omega-3 fatty acidsupplementation in swine diets. In Exp. 1, 2, and 3 omega-3 fatty acids were added to sow dietsto determine the effects of supplementation on maternal performance parameters, fetalincorporation of fatty acids, neonatal growth, progeny response to immune challenge, andalterations in the fatty acid composition of blood and milk. In Exp. 4 grower pigs were assignedto one of four dietary treatments to determine the effects of n-3 fatty acid supplementation duringthe grower and early finisher phases of pig production on growth, tissue fatty acid composition,and adipose cellularity. The addition of omega-3 fatty acids to the maternal diet significantly increased the totaln-3 fatty acid percentage of milk, thus altering the milk consumed by progeny. Piglets of O fedsows had a relatively higher percent of EPA and DPA and a lower percent of ARA in tissues atbirth. Pigs from sows fed omega-3 supplemented diets during lactation tended to have anattenuated inflammatory response to an immune challenge at 14d of age. There was a trend forgreater lipid content in loin muscle from pigs fed fish oil supplemented grower diets relative to C fed pigs at market weight. Pigs consuming the O diet during grower and EF phases had increasedloin muscle concentrations of EPA, DPA, and DHA; and lower concentrations of ALA whencompared to C fed pigs. Collectively these four experiments show that supplementing a sow diet with omega-3fatty acids during gestation will allow incorporation of these fatty acids into the developingpiglets. When piglets consume milk from omega-3 supplemented sows during lactationincorporation of omega-3 fatty acids continues and results suggest this allowed for an attenuatedimmune response to an LPS challenge. Feeding a diet containing 2% fish oil during the growerand EF phases, followed by a withdrawal period, will not affect growth performance, yet mayresult in an increase in intramuscular fat in market weight pigs and improved fatty acidcomposition of the pork.