Fatty acids in Great Lakes lake trout and whitefish

Peter Pantazopoulos, Jennifer M. Sawyer, Mary E. Turyk, Miriam Diamond, Satyendra P. Bhavsar, Donna Mergler, Susan Schantz, Nimal Ratnayake, David O. Carpenter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fish are an excellent source of lean protein and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) but there is inadequate information on the levels of PUFAs in freshwater fish and specifically Great Lakes fish. Knowledge of PUFAs is necessary to make informed decisions regarding the balance between the benefits of fish consumption due to these factors versus risks of adverse health effects associated with elevated levels of contaminants known to be present in some Great Lakes fish and linked to increased risk of cancer and adverse neurological effects to both infants and adults. Our goal was to determine the lipid profiles in two species of Great Lakes fish, lake trout and whitefish. Total fat and the percentage of total and omega-3 PUFAs were with one exception significantly higher in lake trout than whitefish. Average concentrations of EPA. +. DHA were 11.2 and 9.7. g/100. g lipid in lake trout and whitefish, respectively. The concentrations of EPA. +. DHA in fatty marine fish (22.7, 23.9 and 30.2. g/100. g lipid, respectively) are about double those found in Great Lakes lake trout and whitefish. Nevertheless a 100. g serving of Great Lakes lake trout provides more than 500. mg of EPA. +. DHA, which is the daily intake level recommended by the American Dietetics Association for the prevention of coronary heart disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Fish
  • Great Lakes
  • Lake trout
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • PCBs
  • Whitefish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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