The effect of dietary supplementation of algae rich in docosahexaenoic acid on boar fertility.

PMID 28166992


The objective of this study was to assess the effects of dietary supplementation of a commercial algal product rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on boar fertility as assessed in vitro and in vivo. Boars were fed one of three experimental diets for 19 weeks: (i) Control (Ctl) diet (n = 31), (ii) Ctl diet plus 75g All-G-Rich per day (n = 31) or (iii) Ctl diet plus 150g All-G-Rich per day (n = 30). Parameters assessed were (i) raw semen quality; volume, sperm concentration, total motility and morphology (ii) liquid semen quality; progressive motility, viability, hypotonic resistance and acrosomal integrity (iii) frozen-thawed semen quality; motility, thermal stress, viability, membrane fluidity and mitochondrial activity (iv) sperm and seminal plasma (SP) fatty acid composition (FAC) (v) total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of SP and (vi) farrowing rates and litter sizes of sows (n = 1158) inseminated with liquid semen. Boars consuming 75g All-G-Rich had a larger semen volume (P < 0.05) and a higher total sperm number (P < 0.01) than the Ctl treatment, however, there was no effect of treatment on any other semen quality parameter (P > 0.05). There was no effect of dietary treatment on the FAC and TAC of SP or on farrowing rate and litter size (P > 0.05). There was an effect of dietary treatment on the FAC of sperm, represented by an 1.72 and 1.60 fold increase in the DHA content for 75 and 150g treatments, respectively, compared to the Ctl treatment. In conclusion, a significant increase in semen volume and total sperm number in boars supplemented 75g All-G-Rich daily, resulted in an increase in production of 3 to 4 more doses per ejaculate, thus, indicating that the feeding regime described within this study has the potential for increasing the output of boar studs.

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