The British journal of nutrition

High levels of dietary phytosterols affect lipid metabolism and increase liver and plasma TAG in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.).

PMID 23631850


Replacing dietary fishmeal (FM) and fish oil (FO) with plant ingredients in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) diets decreases dietary cholesterol and introduces phytosterols. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of dietary sterol composition on cholesterol metabolism in Atlantic salmon. For this purpose, two dietary trials were performed, in which Atlantic salmon were fed either 100 % FM and FO (FM-FO) diet or one of the three diets with either high (80 %) or medium (40 %) plant protein (PP) and a high (70 %) or medium (35 %) vegetable oil (VO) blend (trial 1); or 70 % PP with either 100 % FO or 80 % of the FO replaced with olive, rapeseed or soyabean oil (trial 2). Replacing ≥ 70 % of FM with PP and ≥ 70 % of FO with either a VO blend or rapeseed oil increased plasma and liver TAG concentrations. These diets contained high levels of phytosterols and low levels of cholesterol. Fish fed low-cholesterol diets, but with less phytosterols, exhibited an increased expression of genes encoding proteins involved in cholesterol uptake and synthesis. The expression of these genes was, however, partially inhibited in rapeseed oil-fed fish possibly due to the high dietary and tissue phytosterol:cholesterol ratio. Atlantic salmon tissue and plasma cholesterol concentrations were maintained stable independent of the dietary sterol content.