Lower ratio of n-3 to n-6 fatty acids in cultured than in wild fish

Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Jan;51(1):1-2. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/51.1.1.


Fish are the major dietary source of very-long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. We investigated whether cultured fish contain fewer n-3 fatty acids than do wild fish. Fifty-eight trout, 51 eel, and 5 salmon were collected from fishermen and hatcheries throughout Europe, pooled into 23 lots (8 of wild and 15 of cultured fish), and analyzed. The ratio of n-3 to n-6 polyunsaturates was significantly lower in cultured than in wild fish (2 vs 7 in trout, 2 vs 5 in eel, and 6 vs 11 in salmon). Hunted fish are a better source of n-3 polyunsaturates than are cultured fish.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Dietary Fats / analysis*
  • Ecology
  • Eels
  • Europe
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / analysis*
  • Fishes / metabolism*
  • Linolenic Acids / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipids / isolation & purification*
  • Salmon
  • Trout


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Linolenic Acids
  • Lipids