Flaxseed oil as a source of omega n-3 fatty acids to improve semen quality from livestock animals: A review.

Ngcobo, Jabulani Nkululeko
Ramukhithi, Fhulufhelo Vincent
Nephawe, Khathutshelo Agree
Mpofu, Takalani Judas
Chokoe, Tlou Caswell
Nedambale, Tshimangadzo Lucky
The demand to conserve indigenous species through the cryo-gene bank is increasing. Spermatozoa remain sensitive to cryopreservation damages especially that of avian species thus limiting the use of reproductive biotechnologies such as artificial insemination in the conservation programs. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFAs), specifically omega n-3, expanded a research interest to improve animal reproductive efficiency through improving spermatozoa quality. This is driven by the fact that mammals cannot synthesize omega-3 de-novo because they lack delta-12 and delta-15 desaturase enzymes thus supplemented in the diet is mandatory. Delta-12 and delta-15 add a double bond at the 12th and 15th carbon-carbon bond from the methyl end of fatty acids, lengthening the chain to 22 carbon molecules. Fish oil is a pioneer source of omega n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. However, there is a report that numerous fisheries are over-exploited and could collapse. Furthermore, processing techniques used for processing by products could complement alterations of the amino acid profile and reduce protein retrieval. Alternatively, flaxseed oil contains 52–58% of total fatty acids and lignans in the form of -linolenic and linoleic acid. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA,18:3n-3) is enzymatically broken-down de-novo by delta-6 desaturase and lengthened into a long-chain carbon molecule such as eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5n-3). Nevertheless, controversial findings following the enrichment of diet with flaxseed oil have been reported. Therefore, this paper is aimed to postulate the role of flaxseed oil as an alternative source of omega n-3 and n-6 fatty acids to improve semen quality and quantity from livestock animals. These include the interaction between docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and spermatogenesis, the interaction between docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and testicular cells, and the effect of flaxseed oil on semen quality. It additionally assesses the antioxidants to balance the level of PUFAs in the semen.
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Artificial insemination, Antioxidants, Fertility, Spermatozoa, Omega n-3
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