Safety and efficacy of sodium and potassium arachidonic acid salts in the young pig

Kaylee Hahn, Joseph R. Hardimon, Doug Caskey, Douglas A. Jost, Patrick J. Roady, J. Thomas Brenna, Ryan N. Dilger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Arachidonic acid (ARA; 20:4n6) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n3) are polyunsaturated fatty acids (FA) naturally present in breast milk and added to most North American infant formulas (IF). We investigated the safety and efficacy of novel sodium and potassium salts of ara-chidonic acid as bioequivalent to support tissue levels of ARA comparable to the parent oil; M. alpina oil (Na-ARA and K-ARA) and including a Na-DHA group. Pigs of both sexes were randomized to one of five dietary treatments (n = 16 per treatment; 8 male and 8 female) from postnatal day 2 to 23. ARA and DHA were included as either triglyceride (TG) or salt. Target dietary ARA/DHA concentrations as percent of total FA by weight were as follows: TT (0.47 TG/0.32 TG), NaT (0.47 Na-salt/0.32 TG), KT (0.47 K-salt/0.32 TG), and Na0 (0.47 Na-salt/0.00), NaNa (0.47 Na-salt/0.32 Na-salt). The primary outcome in this study was bioequivalence of ARA brain accretion. Growth perfor-mance; blood and tissue fatty acid levels; liver histology; complete blood cell counts; and serum chemistries were all evaluated. Overall, diets containing test sources of ARA and DHA did not affect growth performance; liver histology; or substantially influence hematological outcomes as compared with TT. The results confirm that the use of Na and K salt forms of ARA yield bioequivalent ARA accretion in the cerebral cortex and retinal tissue compared to TG-ARA. These findings confirm that use of Na-ARA and K-ARA salts in the young pig was safe and nutritionally bioequivalent to TG-ARA for critical neural tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1482
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Arachidonic acid
  • Bioequivalence
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Infant nutrition
  • Pig

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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