Academic article

Hyper dense vertebrae and mineral content in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) fed diets with graded levels of phytic acid

Helland, Synnøve; Denstadli, Vegard; Witten, P.Eckhard; Hjelde, Kirsti; Storebakken, Trond; Skrede, Anders; Åsgård, Torbjørn Einar; Bæverfjord, Grete

Publication details

Journal: Aquaculture, vol. 261, p. 603–614–12, 2006

Publisher: Elsevier

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 0044-8486
Electronic: 1873-5622

Open Access: none


The effects of graded levels of phytic acid on skeletal development and mineral deposition were investigated in an 80 day feeding trial with Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) parr. The level of phytic acid had no significant effect on the phosphorus (P) content of either whole body or vertebral column of Atlantic salmon. Negative effects of high phytic acid levels were, however, found on whole body concentration of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and in the Ca:P ratio, and in the vertebral column concentration of zinc (Zn). A novel type of vertebral pathology was observed, hyper dense (HD) vertebrae. The HD vertebrae appeared denser on radiographic images, and they consisted of a denser trabecular network than the surrounding vertebrae. The number of fish with HD vertebrae increased from initially 16% to 45-60%, with a tendency of more fish with HD vertebrae with increasing dietary phytic acid content. The HD vertebrae are described and illustrated with radiographic images, whole mount staining, and histology. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.