Effects of dietary n-6: n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratios on meat quality, carcass characteristics, tissue fatty acid profiles, and expression of lipogenic genes in growing goats.
The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of altering the ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids in the diet on meat quality, fatty acid composition of muscle, and expression of lipogenic genes in the muscle of Boer goats. A total of twenty-one Boer goats (5 months old; 31.66±1.07 kg body weight) were randomly assigned to three dietary treatments with n-6:n-3 fatty acid ratios of 2.27:1 (LR), 5.01:1 (MR) and 10.38:1 (HR), fed at 3.7% of body weight. After 100 days of feeding, all goats were slaughtered and the longissimus dorsi muscle was sampled for analysis of fatty acids and gene expression. The dietary treatments did not affect (P>0.05) the carcass traits, and meat quality of growing goats. The concentrations of cis-9,trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid, trans vaccenic acid, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and unsaturated/saturated fatty acid ratios linearly increased (P<0.01) with decreasing dietary n-6:n-3 fatty acid ratios, especially for LR in the longissimus dorsi muscle of goats. In contrast, the mRNA expression level of the PPARα and PPARγ was down-regulated and stearoyl-CoA desaturase up-regulated in the longissimus dorsi of growing goats with increasing dietary n-6:n-3 fatty acid ratios (P<0.01). In conclusion, the results obtained indicate that the optimal n-6:n-3 fatty acid ratio of 2.27:1 exerted beneficial effects on meat fatty acid profiles, leading towards an enrichment in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid in goat intramuscular fat