[Effect of increasing the omega-3 fatty acid in the diets of animals on the animal products consumed by humans].Med Sci (Paris). 2005 Aug-Sep; 21(8-9):773-9.MS
As shown by huge amount of assays in human as well as in animal models, w-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids play important role in the development and maintenance of different organs, primarily the brain, and could be useful in the prevention of different pathologies, mainly the cardiovascular diseases, and, as proposed recently, some psychiatric, dermatological or rheumatological disorders. For ALA, the major and cheapest source for human is rapeseed oil (canola oil), and walnut "noix de Grenoble" oil). The actual goal is first to identify which foods are naturally rich in w-3 fatty acids, and, second, to determine the true impact of the formulations (enriched in w-3 fatty acids) in chows used on farms and breeding centres on the nutritional value of the products and thus their effect on the health of consumers, thanks to quantities of either ALA, or EPA or DHA or both. This concern fish (in proportion of their lipid content, mainly mackerel, salmon, sardine and herring), eggs (wildly naturally rich in w-3 fatty acids, both ALA and DHA, or from laying hen fed ALA from linseed or rapeseed), meat from birds, mammals (from the highest concentration : rabbit, then pig and monogastrics, then polygastrics such as beef, mutton and goat) \; in butter, milk, dairy products, cheese (all naturally poor in w-3 fatty acids)... Indeed, the nature of fatty acids of reserve triglycerides (found in more or less large amounts depending on the anatomical localisation, that is to say the butcher's cuts) can vary mainly as a function of the food received by the animal. EPA and DHA are mainly present in animal's products. The impact (qualitative and quantitative) of alterations in the lipid composition of animal foods on the nutritional value of derived products (in terms of EPA and DHA content) eaten by humans are more important in single-stomach animals than multi-stomach animals (due to their hydrogenating intestinal bacteria). The intestinal physiology of birds results in the relatively good preservation of their dietary w-3 fatty acids. The enrichment in eggs is proportional to the amount of w-3 fatty acids in the hen's diet and can be extremely important. Including ALA in fish feeds is effective only if they are, like carp, vegetarians, as they have the enzymes required to transform ALA into EPA and DHA \; in contrast, it is probably less effective for carnivorous fish (75 % of the fish used for human), which have little of these enzymes : their feed must contain marine animals, mainly fish or fish oil. Analysis of the published results shows that, under the best conditions, feeding animals with extracts of linseed and rapeseed grains, for example, increases the level of ALA acid by 20 to 40-fold in eggs (according to the low or high level of ALA in commercial eggs), 10-fold in chicken, 6-fold in pork and less than 2-fold in beef. By feeding animals with fish extracts or algae (oils), the level of DHA is increased by 20-fold in fish, 7-fold in chicken, 3 to 6-fold in eggs, less than 2-fold in beef. In practise, the effect is considerable for fish and egg, interesting for poultry and rabbit, extremely low for beef, mutton and sheep. The effect on the price paid by the consumer is very low compared to the considerable gain in nutritional value.