Effect of intake of linoleic acid and a-linolenic acid levels on conversion into long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in backfat and in intramuscular fat of growing pigs

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A study was conducted to determine the effect of two levels of linoleic acid (LA) intake at either high or low a-linolenic acid (ALA) intake on their conversion and subsequent deposition into long-chain (20–22 C-atoms) polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC PUFA) in muscle and backfat in growing pigs. In a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement, 32 gilts from 8 litters were assigned to one of four dietary treatments, varying in LA and ALA intakes. Low ALA and LA intakes were 0.15 and 1.31 g/(kg BW0.75/day), respectively, and high ALA and LA intakes were 1.48 and 2.65 g/(kg BW0.75/day) respectively. There was a close positive relation between intake of ALA and the concentration of ALA in backfat and in intramuscular fat. Dietary ALA did not affect the concentration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), but increased docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) in backfat. High ALA intake did not significantly affect DHA but significantly increased EPA, 20:3 n-3 and DPA concentrations in intramuscular fat. The n-3 LC PUFA proportion in backfat was increased from approximately 1–3%, which may be useful to enrich meat with these fatty acids. The effect of ALA intake on n-3 LC PUFA was suppressed by LA intake. Dietary ALA suppressed the concentration of n-6 LC PUFA in blood plasma by more than 50%. When compared at equal incremental dose, the inhibiting effect of ALA on blood arachidonic acid was stronger than the stimulating effect of LA as precursor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-565
JournalJournal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • arachidonic-acid
  • broiler-chickens
  • adipose-tissue
  • term infants
  • meat quality
  • dietary-fat
  • metabolism
  • pork
  • n-3
  • performance

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