Cows fed a diet rich in omega-3 produce enriched meat that has significant benefits for consumers, suggests new research from Kansas State University.
The enrichment of meat products with omega-3 and its addition to animal feed to boost levels in animal-derived produce is seen by some as having potential in bridging the gap between recommended and actual intake in the modern population.
"Our study was the first to look at the effects of eating a high-ALA diet of beef from cattle fed flaxseed and the impact on long-chain omega-3 fatty acid composition of EPA and DHA in the membrane phospholipids of the heart and liver using a rat model," wrote lead author Denis Medeiros.
The new research, published in the journal Nutrition Research, suggests that raising cattle on flaxseed diet (10 per cent), rich in alpha-linolenic acid, leads to increases in the omega-3 content of the meat, which could then be passed on to the consumer.
Bonnie - this is a good idea. However, the best way to increase omega-3 content in cattle is to let them exist the way nature intended, and that is to graze!