Dietary Omega 6 to Omega 3 Ratio Impacts Nursery Pigs More Than Omega 3 Intake Alone
Weaning is a stressful time for the piglet as there are environmental, nutritional and social stressors along with an undeveloped immune system. Post-weaning growth lag is commonly seen with reduced growth rates and increased susceptibility to pathogens that can trigger inflammatory responses. Omega 3 fatty acids may have anti-inflammatory properties, though research has mixed results. These mixed results may be due to the amount of omega 6 fatty acids and their ratio to omega 3. The ideal ratio found was 5:1 for omega 6:omega 3 which improved protein deposition without altering lipid deposition and feed intake increasing in older nursery pigs. A lower inflammatory response was noted at weaning.