Qardio circulation enhancer
Qardio is a unique feed concept for reinforcing cardiac health and the circulation through the application of new knowledge regarding preventative nutrition. Taking as its starting point comprehensive research into the effect krill has on fat metabolism and the immune defence system, BioMar has developed a feed that reinforces both the heart and the circulatory system in salmon.
More frequent handling, increased stress and reduced gill health lead to an increased need for oxygen and greater demands for compensation from the circulatory system. Under-dimensioned hearts and cardiovascular systems damaged by infectious diseases such as HSMI and CMS can result in circulatory failure and heart rupture, and the prevention of these conditions would naturally have a positive effect on fish health and survival.
Preventative nutrition for improved circulation
Like people, salmon are designed to move, and both physical activity and correct diet are preconditions for good circulatory health and cardiac capacity. A high intake of marine omega-3 fatty acids has proved to be associated with beneficial effects on the heart, sight and immune function, for example.
The two most important and best-documented omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA. These long-chain fatty acids can only be produced by marine organisms, while short omega-3 fatty acids – such as Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) – may stem from plants. Even though ALA is an omega-3 fatty acid, its effect can in no way be compared to those of EPA and DHA. Adding EPA and DHA to the diet therefore has a key role to play in ensuring optimal health – among people and salmon alike.
Effect on the heart
Cardiovascular and circulatory health in salmon can be mapped in a swimming tunnel by measuring maximum heart rate and oxygen intake.
- Nofima has developed a swimming tunnel known as ‘The Flume’, where fish can swim at increasing speeds to the point of exhaustion.
- Here, we have measured cardiac capacity and endurance, and have documented the effect of Qardio.
The swimming tunnel is a kind of treadmill for fish, and it is used to perform endurance tests involving measuring heart rate and oxygen consumption. This provides a good image of the health and performance level of salmon in the same way as for people.
Increased capacity and endurance
Both in controlled tests of this kind and in field tests, Qardio has proved to contribute to increased cardiac capacity, reduced virus presence and associated damage to cardiac muscles, as well as a drop in mortality in connection with HSMI (infection tests + field).
In addition, fish fed with Qardio have a higher omega-3/omega-6 ratio in their vital organs, including their hearts.
- We have also measured larger hearts (cardiac index) and thicker heart muscles.
- Moreover, salmon show increased endurance (swimming capacity) at lower levels of EPA and DHA, as well as greater growth.
Nutrition that supports tissue restitution and reduces reaction to infection also provides beneficial effects equivalent to exertion. In addition, Links have been established between physical activity and nutrition; for example, taking EPA and DHA supplements in combination with exertion will have a positive effect on health. This type of relationship opens up a new and fascinating field of research.