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The effect of dietary supplementation of algae rich in docosahexaenoic acid on boar fertility

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posted on 2017-07-04, 11:35 authored by Edel M. Murphy, Catherine Stanton, C. O'Brien, C. Murphy, Shauna A. Holden, R.P. Murphy, P. Varley, M.P. Boland, Seán Fair
The objective of this study was to assess the effects of dietary supplementation of a commercial algal product rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on boar fertility as assessed in vitro and in vivo. Boars were fed one of three experimental diets for 19 weeks: (i) Control (Ctl) diet (n = 31), (ii) Ctl diet plus 75g All-G-Rich per day (n = 31) or (iii) Ctl diet plus 150g All-G-Rich per day (n = 30). Parameters assessed were (i) raw semen quality; volume, sperm concentration, total motility and morphology (ii) liquid semen quality; progressive motility, viability, hypotonic resistance and acrosomal integrity (iii) frozen-thawed semen quality; motility, thermal stress, viability, membrane fluidity and mitochondrial activity (iv) sperm and seminal plasma (SP) fatty acid composition (FAC) (v) total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of SP and (vi) farrowing rates and litter sizes of sows (n = 1158) inseminated with liquid semen. Boars consuming 75g All-G-Rich had a larger semen volume (P 0.05). There was no effect of dietary treatment on the FAC and TAC of SP or on farrowing rate and litter size (P > 0.05). There was an effect of dietary treatment on the FAC of sperm, represented by an 1.72 and 1.60 fold increase in the DHA content for 75 and 150g treatments, respectively, compared to the Ctl treatment. In conclusion, a significant increase in semen volume and total sperm number in boars supplemented 75g All-G-Rich daily, resulted in an increase in production of 3 to 4 more doses per ejaculate, thus, indicating that the feeding regime described within this study has the potential for increasing the output of boar studs. (c) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



Theriogenology;90, pp. 78-87




peer-reviewed The full text of this article will not be available on ULIR until the embargo expires on the 28/11/2017

Other Funding information

Alltech, Bioscience Center


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Theriogenology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Theriogenology, 2017, 90, pp. 78-87,



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