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Home arrow News arrow Science arrow Laboratory Animal Diets Formulated with Fish Meal
Laboratory Animal Diets Formulated with Fish Meal
The benefits of supplementing diets with fish meal have been demonstrated in a number of species. Immunity and overall health are among some of the potential positive effects.
 

Fish meal has historically been used as a protein source in manufactured diets for animals ranging from beef cattle to poultry to laboratory animals. Fish meal is a concentrated source of high quality protein composed of highly digestible essential amino acids. Fish meal has one of the best overall amino acid profiles of any single protein source. In addition, fish meal is also an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, like DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which have been shown to improve health by preventing cardiovascular disease, lowering serum triglycerides, potentially stabilizing atherosclerotic plaques, improving tolerance to a variety of stressors, and playing important roles in the development and maintenance of neural and retinal tissues and cognitive function.

In recent years, fish meal has been removed from some laboratory diets. Animal proteins generally cost significantly more than plant proteins; thus, pressure to decrease ingredient costs has driven the removal of animal-derived proteins from some formulations. Concern that fish meal is contaminated with mercury and nitrosamines has led some researchers to believe experimental results could be confounded by diets. However, as detailed below, fish meal and fish oil used in animal diet production contain very low levels of this metal or N-nitroso compounds. Further, research conducted in the last twenty years has proven that nearly any ingredient in a diet can potentially alter experimental results, depending upon the nature of the experiment and the ingredient; soybean meal and casein have been the most often cited protein sources shown to influence study outcomes.

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VALERIE NELSON: Is the fishing industry dead?

August 25, 2014 -- Obviously, the fishing industry in Gloucester is showing signs of distress. We look out in the harbor and see old and rusty boats, aging fishermen, more days in port than out fishing, and struggling shoreside processors and support businesses, like the ice company and marine railways.  But the word “dead” is clearly premature.