Publications: Peer-reviewed journal articles (by staff)
The digestibility and accumulation of dietary phytosterols in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) smolt fed diets with replacement plant oils
Miller MR, Nichols PD, Carter CG 2008. The digestibility and accumulation of dietary phytosterols in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) smolt fed diets with replacement plant oils. Lipids 43(6): Pages 549–557.
Phytosterols occur in high concentration in canola (Brassica napus L.) and other vegetable oils such as from the borage plant Echium (Echium plantagineum L.). We investigated if Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) digest and accumulate dietary phytosterols in significant amounts in muscle and liver. Phytosterols are lipid soluble, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in humans. We aimed to determine if fatty fish, such as salmon, can be used as a delivery source of this functional food component. Three diets containing canola oil (CO), Echium oil (EO) and fish oil (FO) were fed to Atlantic salmon smolt over 9 weeks. The digestibility of natural abundances of phytosterols by Atlantic salmon was poor compared to cholesterol. However, phytosterols accumulated in liver and muscle of fish. Significantly increased concentrations of 24-methylenecholesterol, campesterol, beta-sitosterol and total phytosterol occurred in livers of EO fed fish compared to FO fed fish. Campesterol concentrations increased in CO fed fish compared to the FO fed fish. We demonstrated that natural abundances of dietary phytosterols are digested by and accumulated in liver and white muscle of Atlantic salmon smolt. However, phytosterol levels in salmon muscle will not be a major source of phytosterols in human diets and would not be expected to significantly effect human cardiovascular health.