Dietary Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratios Affect Colostrum, Sow and Piglet Plasma Fatty Acid Profiles
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have proven health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-6 PUFA’s have the opposite biological activity and since direct competition occurs between them, the ratio is important to maximize the benefits of including omega-3 fatty acids in sow diets. Plant sources like flaxseed may also differ in their effects compared to fish oils in their biological activity of omega-3 fatty acids. Reducing the omega-6:omega-3 ratio improved circulation levels of alpha-linolenic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in piglets and sows. Flaxseed can be used to decrease the ratio to increase the omega-3 content in sow diets so more benefits are noted.