Asian Fisheries Society

Cyprinids as a Valuable Source of Essential Fatty Acids for Human Health: A Review


Cyprinids are important objects of world aquaculture production. Many contain high levels of essential fatty acids of the n-6 and especially the n-3 series which have anti-atherosclerotic efficacy. Phytoplankton is the original source of these fatty acids, and the fatty acid composition of the fish is influenced by the lipid pattern of the food. Freshwater fish such as cyprinids are able to desaturate and elongate greater quantities of dietary C 18 n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) to C 20 and C 22 desaturates. Cyprinids feeding on plankton, e.g., silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis), are rich in eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. But lipids of grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) and common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are also characterized by considerable contents of n-3 PUFA. Clinical tests have proven that consumption of cyprinids has beneficial effects on human health, especially for persons with cardiovascular diseases.

Publication Date : 1997-09-01

Volume : 10

Issue : 1

Page : 83-90

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Date 1997/09/01
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