Responses of dogs to dietary omega-3 fatty acids

Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4474, USA.
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Impact Factor: 1.56). 01/2008; 231(11):1657-61. DOI: 10.2460/javma.231.11.1657
Source: PubMed


Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and other marine sources appear to be capable of modifying inflammatory and immune responses in dogs. Information is provided on the capacity of dogs to metabolize omega-3 fatty acids and the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on skin and coat, inflammatory responses, and neurologic development in puppies.

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    • "EPA is also known to have anti-inflammatory effects of its own; it may suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1β and −6 and tumor necrosis factor-α [24-26]. Also, a significant reduction in activities of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and −9, which contribute to cartilage destruction, as well as a significant increase in the tissue inhibitor of MMP-2 (TIMP-2) has been recorded after fish oil supplementation [27,28]. As dogs and cats in the western world nowadays primarily eat commercial foods, Remillard has even suggested that our animal patients with chronic inflammatory diseases might either be primary ω-3 deficient and/or ω-6 toxic, as commercial diets often have a very high ω-6:ω-3 fatty acid ratio [29]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background An un-commissioned randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled clinical study was planned using a deep sea fish oil product for pets. Seventy-seven client-owned dogs with osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to supplement the food with either the fish oil product or corn (=placebo) oil. Our main outcome variables were force platform variables peak vertical force (PVF) and impulse, the validated Helsinki Chronic Pain Index (HCPI) and the use of rescue NSAIDs. Secondary outcome variables were a locomotion visual analog scale (VAS), a Quality of life VAS, a comparative questionnaire, a veterinary assessment, owners’ final assessment of outcome and guessing the product given. Results When comparing the two test groups at the end of the trial (16 weeks) there was no significant difference in any of the main outcome variables but owners of dogs that had taken fish oil were significantly happier with the treatment at the end visit and did significantly better at guessing what group their dogs had been in, compared to the placebo group. When comparing variables within the fish oil group as change from baseline to trial end, there were significant positive changes in PVF, HCPI, NSAID use, Quality of life VAS, as well as in all three scores in the comparative questionnaire (locomotion, every-day situations, and skin & coat). There were similar positive trends in force platform impulse and in the veterinary assessment variables, although they did not reach significance. Within the placebo group there were significant positive changes only in the HCPI and a significant deterioration according to veterinary assessment. Conclusions When compared to placebo, there was not a major statistically significant benefit in using deep sea fish oil as a pain reliever in our study population of dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. However, the fish oil treated patients improved significantly in many of the variables, when comparing baseline values to the study-end values within the group, indicating a true but small relief in symptoms. Deep sea fish oil supplementation could be considered a part of the multimodal pain relieving approach currently recommended for dogs suffering from OA, especially for individuals that do not tolerate anti-inflammatory drugs.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · BMC Veterinary Research
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    • "highly concentrated in flaxseed, fish and their derivatives (Folador et al., 2006; Bauer, 2007; Biondo et al., 2008). Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are among the omega-3 recognized to provide benefits against an array of disorders and conditions in canines (Miller et al., 1992; Brown et al., 2000; Bauer, 2007; Biondo et al., 2008; Hansen et al., 2008; Laurent et al., 2008; LeBlanc et al., 2008; Kirby et al., 2009). For veterinarians having to manage dogs afflicted by OA, optimal decision-making may be compromised by the absence of randomized, controlled and double-blinded clinical trials for every specific VTD available. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this randomized, placebo-controlled and double-blinded trial was to compare the effect of a veterinary therapeutic diet (VTD) rich in omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3) from fish origin to a regular diet used as control (CTR) over a period of 13 weeks in dogs afflicted by naturally occurring osteoarthritis (OA). Thirty privately owned dogs were selected. Dogs had lameness confirmed by an orthopaedic examination, had stifle/hip OA and had locomotor disability based on the peak of the vertically oriented ground reaction force (PVF) measured using a force platform. At Baseline, all owners were asked to determine 2-5 activities of daily living that were the most impaired. Activities were scores (0-4) in accordance with severity using case-specific outcome measures (CSOM). The PVF was also measured. Dogs (15/group) were then randomly assigned to receive either the CTR or the VTD. The CSOM was completed twice weekly. The recording of PVF was repeated at Week 7 and 13. The VTD-fed dogs showed a significantly higher PVF at Week 7 (p < 0.001) and at Week 13 (p < 0.001) when compared to Baseline. From Baseline to Week 13, VTD-fed dogs had a mean (± SD) change in PVF recording of 3.5 ± 6.8% of body weight (%BW) compared with 0.5 ± 6.1%BW (p = 0.211) in CTR-fed dogs. This change in primary outcome was consistent with an effect size of 0.5. Conversely, dogs fed the CTR did not show significant change in PVF measurements. At the end of the study, the CSOM was significantly decreased (p = 0.047) only in VTD fed dogs. In lame OA dogs, a VTD that contains high level of omega-3 from fish origin improved the locomotor disability and the performance in activities of daily living. Such nutritional approach appears interesting for the management of OA.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · J Anim Physiol a Anim Nutr
    • "Therefore, it might be possible that combining dietary n-3 PUFA with low levels of AA can be even more effective in diminishing cellular AA than increasing dietary n-3 FA alone. By diminishing cellular AA the release of inflammatory mediators can be reduced and the health status of patients with chronic inflammatory diseases could be improved[3,36]. Our data suggest a steady state of incorporation and release of EPA and DHA in EM. These data are comparable with earlier results of plasma and neutrophil FA in dogs [37], supporting the concept of a competitive and "saturable" hyperbolic relationship between dietary n-3 PUFA, plasma and tissue FA in dogs. "
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    ABSTRACT: In dogs, increasing the tissue n-3 fatty acid (FA) content is associated with potential benefit in some medical conditions, e.g. atopic dermatitis, cancer or heart disease. Therefore effectively and conveniently increasing tissue n-3 FA levels in dogs is of interest. Incorporation of dietary n-3 FA into cell membranes may be studied by FA analysis of erythrocyte membranes (EM), because of the correlation of its FA composition with the FA composition of other cells. Aim of the study was to determine whether an n-3 FA additive added to a control diet is as effective in increasing EM n-3 FA content as feeding an n-3 FA enriched diet. Furthermore the time course of the incorporation of dietary n-3 FA into canine EM was investigated. Thirty dogs were randomly divided into three dietary groups with ten dogs per group. CONT got a dry dog food diet which did not contain EPA or DHA. FO got a dry dog food diet with a high EPA and DHA content. ADD got the CONT diet combined with an n-3 FA additive rich in DHA and EPA. After a feeding period of 12 weeks the additive was discontinued in ADD and these dogs were fed CONT diet for another four weeks to observe washout effects. Erythrocyte lipids were extracted from venous blood samples and their FA composition was determined by gas chromatography. The Mann-Whitney-U-test was used to detect significant differences between the different groups and time points. After one week the proportions of n-3 FA, DHA and EPA were already significantly increased in ADD and FO, apparently reaching a plateau within eight weeks. In our study DHA and not EPA was preferably incorporated into the EM. After discontinuing the administration of the additive in ADD, the n-3 FA values declined slowly without reaching baseline levels within four weeks. In dogs, an increase of dietary n-3 FA content leads to a rapid inclusion of n-3 FA into EM, regardless of whether the n-3 FA are offered as an enriched diet or as a normal diet supplemented with an n-3 FA additive.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2011 · Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
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