Polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation during pregnancy alters neonatal behaviour in sheep

Capper, J.L., Wilkinson, R.G., Mackenzie, A.M. and Sinclair, L.A. (2006) Polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation during pregnancy alters neonatal behaviour in sheep. Journal of Nutrition, 136 (2). pp. 397-403.

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The objectives of the study were to determine whether supplementation of pregnant ewes with longchain (n-3) fatty acids present in fish oil, in combination with dietary vitamin E, would alter neonatal behavior in sheep. Twin- (n ¼ 36) and triplet- (n ¼ 12) bearing ewes were allocated at d 103 of gestation to 1 of 4 dietary treatments containing 1 of 2 fat sources [Megalac , a calcium soap of palm fatty acid distillate or a fish oil mixture, high in 20:5(n-3) and 22:6(n-3)] and 1 of 2 dietary vitamin E concentrations (50 or 500 mg/kg) in a 2 3 2 factorial design. Feeding fish oil increased gestation length by 2 d and increased the proportion of 22:6(n-3) within neonatal plasma by 5.1-fold and brain by 10%, whereas brain 20:5(n-3) was increased 5-fold. Supranutritional dietary vitamin E concentrations decreased the latency of lambs to stand in ewes fed fish oil but not Megalac, whereas latency to suckle was decreased from 43 to 34 min by fish oil supplementation. Supplementation with fish oil also substantially decreased the secretion rate (mL/h) of colostrum and the yield (g/h) of fat and protein. We conclude that supplementation of ewes with fish oil decreases the latency to suckle, increases gestation length and the 22:6(n-3): 20:4(n-6) ratio in the neonatal brain, and may improve lamb survival rate. However, further work is required to determine how to mitigate the negative effects of fish oil on colostrum production.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Sciences
Depositing User: Mr Darren Roberts
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2018 09:56
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2019 15:02
URI: http://hau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/16281

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