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Authors: Tibor Gaál, L. Wágner, F. Husvéth, H. A. Manilla, P. Vajdovich, N. Balogh, I. Lóth and Katalin Németh S.

The influence of fish oil (highly unsaturated) and beef tallow (highly saturated) with vitamin E (100 IU/kg) supplementation on the antioxidant status of broiler chicken cockerels was investigated. Chicks were fed a control diet with no added fat, 40 g/kg each of fish oil and beef tallow diets, respectively, from 11 to 42 days of age. Tocopherol concentration and the rate of lipid peroxidation, thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) in liver, fatty acid composition of the liver lipids, blood serum total antioxidant status (TAS), and reduced glutathione (GSH) content were determined. Vitamin E supplementation of the diet increased liver ?-tocopherol content in chicks regardless of the type of dietary fat. Fish oil diet resulted in higher liver TBARS value while beef tallow diet showed lower values compared to the control diet. Vitamin E supplementation reduced liver TBARS as well as serum GSH, and raised serum TAS for all diets. Serum GSH was the same for vitamin E supplemented diets regardless of the fat supplement. Fish oil diets resulted in a significant increase in hepatic lipid n-3 PUFA content. A significant positive correlation was found between liver TBARS and n-3 PUFA content. No relationships were established, however, between liver TBARS and n-6 PUFA or saturated fatty acids. The results suggest that feeding oils rich in n-3 PUFA increases tissue concentration of these fatty acids, consequently increasing tissue lipid peroxidation and reducing the antioxidative status of broiler chickens. Supplementing high levels of vitamin E with such oils may increase tissue oxidative stability. Serum TAS or GSH may be used as a measure of antioxidative status in chickens.

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