Salmon, just like humans, are created for movement. Both physical activity and a healthy diet are essential for good circulatory health and cardiovascular capacity. High intake of omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to be associated with beneficial effects on, amongst other things the heart, vision and immune system function.
Improved health of the heart and circulatory system
Farmed salmon face a number of challenges associated with cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular capacity, robustness and survival are closely interlinked.
Nutrition and health
Salmon need to be supplied through their diet with EPA and DHA, just like humans. Nutrition that supports tissue recovery and inflammation reduction can have positive effects on cardiac health in salmon.
Qardio and viral infections
Viral diseases that affect the heart are one of the major challenges facing today’s salmon farming.
HSMI, CMS and PD are viral infections prevalent in aquaculture, and they all affect the musculature of the heart. The number of cases of these diseases is increasing and they are very costly. They cannot be cured, but have a number of similarities in the way they cause disease and they can be prevented and causes a systemic inflammatory response leading to damage to the heart muscle. There is no effective treatment against these diseases, and limiting the extent of damage must therefore be based on preventative measures rather than cure.
Such measures will be to
- increase the resistance of the fish to infection
- Curb the damaging inflammatory process
- Promote tissue healing
Additionally, it is also important to limit the stress load placed on weakened fish.
The effects of Omega-3 and Omega-6
Medicinal practice in humans tells us that an imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 in the diet can lead to health risks. A high intake of anti-inflammatory marine fatty acids has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular and immune function and is essential for brain development.
In the research department at BioMar, we wanted to investigate whether the positive health effects also yield measurable effects on the ability to combat disease in salmon and for this reason we have carried out a series of studies focusing on cardiac health.