Effects of Altering the Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio in Starter Diets on Piglet Inflammatory Response
Many new stressors are present at weaning, including immune challenges. These stressors can result in an inflammatory response as well as reduced feed intake and growth. An over-production of immune cells can result in increased muscle degradation and reduced protein synthesis. Omega-3 fatty acids have a variety of health benefits to a variety of species, including anti-inflammatory properties. Feeding a high diet of omega-3 fatty acids post-weaning may alter the inflammatory response of the piglets by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines. An inflammatory challenge was induced in the piglets while the ratio of omega-6:omega-3 was altered. Different ratios had different responses to the lipopolysaccharide immune challenge. The ideal ratio for an increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines was 5:1 for omega-6:omega-3.