Citation Tocher DR, Bendiksen EA, Campbell P & Bell JG (2008) The role of phospholipids in nutrition and metabolism of teleost fish. Aquaculture, 280 (1-4), pp. 21-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2008.04.034
Abstract It has been known for almost 25 years now that inclusion of intact phospholipids in the diet could improve culture performance of various freshwater and marine fish species. The primary beneficial effect was improved growth in both larvae and early juveniles, but also increased survival rates and decreased incidence of malformation in larvae, and perhaps increased stress resistance. Determination of absolute dietary requirements has been hampered by the use, in different dietary trials, of a wide range of phospholipid preparations that can vary greatly both in phospholipid content and class composition. Larval studies have been compromised further by the need on many occasions to supply phospholipid through enrichment of live feeds with subsequent re-modelling of the phospholipid and fatty acid compositions. Generally, the levels of phospholipid requirement are around 2 - 4% of diet for juvenile fish and probably higher in larval fish. The effects were restricted to young fish, as a requirement for dietary phospholipids has not been established for adult fish, although this has been virtually unstudied. As the majority of studies have used crude mixed phospholipid preparations, particularly soybean lecithin, but also other plant phospholipids and egg yolk lecithin, that are enriched in several phospholipids, it has been difficult to elucidate which specific phospholipid classes impart beneficial effects. Based on the few studies where single pure phospholipid species have been used, the rank order for efficacy appears to be phosphatidylcholine > phosphatidylinositol > phosphatidylethanolamine > phosphatidylserine. The efficacy of other phospholipid classes or sphingolipids is not known. The mechanism underpinning the role of the phospholipids in larval and early juvenile fish must also explain their lack of effect in adult fish. The role of phospholipids appears to be independent of fatty acid requirements although the presence of an unsaturated fatty acid at the sn-2 position may be important. Similarly, the phospholipid requirement is not related to the delivery of other essential dietary components such as the bases choline and inositol. Studies also suggested that the phospholipid effect was not due to generally enhanced emulsification and digestion of lipids. Rather the evidence led to the hypothesis that early developing stages of fish had impaired ability to transport dietary lipids away from the intestine possibly through limitations in lipoprotein synthesis. The current hypothesis is that the enzymic location of the limitation is actually in phospholipid biosynthesis, perhaps the production of the glycerophosphobase backbone and that dietary supplementation with intact phospholipids in larvae and juvenile fish compensated for this. Thus, dietary phospholipids increase the efficiency of transport of dietary fatty acids and lipids from the gut to the rest of the body possibly through enhanced lipoprotein synthesis.