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Essential fatty acids in Atlantic salmon: effects of increasing dietary doses of n-6 and n-3 fatty acids on growth, survival and fatty acid composition of liver, blood and carcass

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Kjetil Aune

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Aquaculture Nutrition ; Volume 6. p. 119–127. 2000

Ruyter, Bente; Røsjø, Camilla; Einen, Olai; Thomassen, Magny S.

Atlantic salmon fry (4 g) were fed for 4 months on semi-synthetic diets containing fatty acid methyl esters of either 18:2 n-6, 18:3 n-3 or a mixture of equal amounts of 20:5 n-3 and 22:6 n-3. The different amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids added were 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1 and 2% (by dry weight). Increasing levels of dietary n-3 fatty acids up to 1% gave faster growth rates in salmon fry, and fish fed the mixture of 20:5 n-3 and 22:6 n-3 seemed to grow faster than fish fed only 18:3 n-3. No significant effect on growth rate was seen when the dietary level of 18:2 n-6 was increased. Dietary inclusions of n-3 fatty acids reduced the mortality of salmon, while dietary 18:2 n-6 had no such beneficial effects. The dietary treatments caused substantial changes in the fatty acid composition of blood and liver phospholipids (PL), whereas the total lipid fraction of the carcass was less affected. Increasing doses of 18:2 n-6 in the diet resulted in an increased percentage of 20:4 n-6 in liver and blood PLs, while the percentage of 20:3 n-9 decreased. The percentage of 18:2 n-6 also increased in liver, blood and carcass. Dietary 18:3 n-3 resulted in increased percentages of 18:3 n-3 and 20:5 n-3 in liver PLs, while the percentage of 20:3 n-9 decreased. There was, however, no significant increase in the percentage of 22:6 n-3. Dietary 18:3 n-3 produced no significant changes in the composition of blood fatty acids, but increased the percentage of 18:3 n-3 in the carcass. The dietary combination of the n-3 fatty acids 20:5 and 22:6 resulted in an increased percentage of 22:6 n-3 in blood and liver lipids and a decreased percentage of 20:3 n-9, but there were no changes in the percentage of 20:5 n-3.

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