• Mohamed Abu El-Hamd
  • Abd Salam Metwally
  • Mohamed Hegazy
  • Zahya Ghallab
  • Ola Elateeqy




The aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of flaxseed oil supplementation as a source of omega-3 fatty acids (OFA) on some blood parameters, semen quality and testosterone level in male Frisian bull. A total of 30 Friesian bulls (14.2 ± 0.16 month of age and 265±15 kg body weight) were divided into three equal groups according to age and live body weight. Bulls in the 1st group (G1) were supplemented with 2% dray matter intake (DMI) flaxseed oil as a source of OFA, while those in 2nd group were supplemented with 4% DMI flaxseed oil as a source of OTA at 14 to 21 months of age (G2). Bulls in the 3rd group were fed a basal diet and considered as a control group (G3). The obtained results revealed that OFA administrated animals had a significant (P< 0.05) inducing effect on serum levels of total protein, globulin, glucose, high density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglyceride compared to the control group. No significant changes were noticed in albumin levels among the three groups.  However, the levels of total cholesterol, urea and low density lipoprotein (LDL) were significantly lower in bulls received OFA than the control group. Omega-3 fatty acids treatment has a significant positive effect on the semen characteristics and lower abnormality in G2 and G3 than in G1. G2 and G3 also showed a significant higher intact spermatozoa cell membrane than in G3 by about 9.68 and 10.84%, respectively. Omega-3 treatment significantly increased blood testosterone levels to be 23,78%  in G2 and 31.82% in G3 higher than that of the control. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with omega-3 in male Frisian ration improved semen quality and reproductive potentiality as well as testosterone level.

Key words: Frisian bull; omega-3 fatty acids; testosterone and semen quality


Sinclair AJ, Attar-Bashi NM, Li D. What is the role of a-linolenic acid for mammals? Li-pids 2002; 37(12): 1113–23.

Mustafa AF, McKinnon JJ, Christensen DA, He T. Effects of micronization of flaxseed on nutrient disappearance in the gastrointestinal tract of steers. Anim Feed Sci Technol 2002; 95: 123–2.

Parodi PW. Cow’s milk fat components as potential anti-carcinogenic agents. J Nutr 1997; 127(6) 1055–60.

Conners WE. Importance of n-3 fatty ac-ids in health and disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71: 171S-–5S.

Wathes DC, Abayasekara DRE, Aitken RJ. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in male and female reproduction. Biol Reprod 2007; 77,190–201.

Abayasekara DR, Wathes DC. Effects of altering dietary fatty acid composition on pros-taglandin synthesis and fertility. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent fatty acids 1999; 61: 275–87.

Estienne M, Harper A, Crawford R. Die-tary supplementation with a source of omega-3 fatty acids increases sperm number and the duration of ejaculation in boars. Theriogenolo-gy 2008; 70: 70–6.

Mitre R, Cheminade C, Allaume P, Legrand P and Legrand AB. Oral intake of shark liver oil modifies lipid composition and improves motility and velocity of boar sperm. Theriogenology 2004; 62, 1557–66.

Safarinejad MR, Hosseini SY, Dadkhah F, Asgari MA. Relationship of omega-3 and ome-ga-6 fatty acids with semen characteristics, and anti-oxidant status of seminal plasma: a com-parison between fertile and infertile men. Clin Nutr 2010; 29:100–5.

shark liver oil modiï¬es lipid composition and improves

Animal Production Research Institute. Animal Nutrition Scientifically and Practically. 1st Ed. Animal Production Re-search Institute, Agricultural Research Center, Ministry of Agri-culture, Dokki, Giza, Egypt 1997.

AOAC. Official Methods of Analysis. 18th ed. Assoc. Off. Anal. Chem., Gaithersburg, MD 2006.

Barth AD. Bull breeding soundness evaluation. The western Canadian association of bovine practitioners 2002.

Revell SG, Mrode RA. An osmotic re-sistance test for bovine semen. Anim Reprod Sci 1994; 36 77–86.

Abdelhady D, El-Abasy M, Abou-Asa S, Elbialy Z, Shukry M, Hussein A, Saleh A, El-Magd M. The ameliorative effect of Aspergillus awamori on aflatoxin B1-induced hepatic dam-age in rabbits, World Mycotoxin Journal 2017; 10(4): 363–73.

Almadaly E A, Farrag F A, Saadeldin I M, El-Magd M A, El-Razek I M A. Relationship between total protein concentration of seminal plasma and sperm characteristics of highly fer-tile, fertile and subfertile Barki ram semen col-lected by electroejaculation, Small Ruminant Research 2016; 144: 90–9.

El-Bayomi K M, Saleh A A, Awad A, El-Tarabany M S, El-Qaliouby H S, Afifi M, El-Komy S, Essawi W M, Almadaly E A, El-Magd M A. Association of CYP19A1 gene polymor-phisms with anoestrus in water buffaloes, Re-production, Fertility and Development 2018; 30(3): 487–97.

Snedecor GW, Cochran WG. Statistical Methods. 7th Ed. Iowa Univ. Press, Ames. Iowa, USA 1982.

Lee HJ, Khan MA, Lee WS, Kim HS, Ki KS, Kang SJ, Hur TY, Khan MS, Choi YJ. Growth, blood metabolites, and health of Hol-stein calves fed milk replacer containing differ-ent amounts of energy and protein. Asian-Australasian J Anim Sci 2008; 21(2):198–203.

Abu El-Hamd MA, El-Diahy YM, El-Maghraby MM, Elshora MA. Effect of flaxseed oil on digestibility, blood parameters, immuno-response and productive performance of suck-ling Friesian calves. J Anim Poult Prod Mansoura Univ 2015; 6(11): 663 –75.

Teama FEI, El-Tarabany AA. Physiolog-ical and biochemical response to Omega- 3 plus as a dietary supplement to growing goats under hot summer conditions. R Bras Zootech 2016; 45(4):174-–80.

Petit HV, Dewhurst RJ, Proulx JG, Kha-lid M, Haresign W, Twagiramungu H. Milk production, milk composition and reproductive function of dairy cows fed different fats. Can J Anim Sci 2001; 81: 263–71

Robinson, R.S.; P.G.A. Pushpakumara; Z. Cheng; A.R. Peters; D.R.E. Abayasekara and D.C. Wathes (2002). Effects of dietary polyun-saturated fatty acids on ovarian and uterine function in lactating dairy cows. Reproduction 2002; 124: 119–31.

Matson FH, Grundy SM. Comparison of effects of dietary saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids on plasma li-pids and lipoproteins in man. J Lipid Res 1985; 26: 194–202.

Jones PJH, Ausaman LM, Croll DH, Feng JY, Schaefer EA, Lichtenstein AH. Vali-dation of deuterium incorporation against sterol balance for measurement of human cholesterol biosynthesis. J Lipid Res 1998 39: 1111–7.

Fernandez ML McNamara DJ. Dietary fat-mediated changes in hepatic apoprotein B/E receptor in the guinea pig: effect of polyunsatu-rated, monounsaturated, and saturated fat. Me-tabolism 1989; 38: 1094–102.

Byers EM, Schelling GT. Lipids in rumi-nant nutrition. In: Church D.C. eds. The Rumi-nant Animal Digestion, Physiology and Nutri-tion. Prentice- Hall, Inglewood Cliffs NJ USA 1988 pp. 298–310.

Petit HV. Digestion, milk production, milk composition and blood composition of dairy cows fed formaldehyde treated flaxseed or sunflower seed. J Dairy Sci 2003; 86: 2637–46

Nash, DM, Hamilton RMG, Hulan HW. The effect of dietary herring meal on the ome-ga-3 fatty acid content of plasma and egg yolk lipids of laying hens. Can. J Anim Sci 1995; 75: 247–53.

Simopoulos AP. Omega-3-fatty acids and public health. Proc. Flax Council of Canada Conf. Flax, the Next Decade. 1996 Dec. 3-4. Winnipeg, MB. pp. 5–28.

Khan, N.A., Farooq, M.W., Ahmad, N., Cone, J.W. and Hendriks, W.H., 2015. Effect of species and harvest maturity on the fatty acid content and composition of tropical forages. J. Anim. Pl. Sci., 25: 739-–46

Speake, BK, P.F. Surai PF, Rooke JA. Regulation of avian and mammalian sperm production by dietary fatty acids. In: Male Fer-tility and Lipid Metabolism. De Vriese SR, Christophe AB (eds). The American Oil Chem-ists Society Press, Urbana, USA 2003; pp 96–117

Yan, L., X.L. Bai; Z.F. Fang; L.Q. Che; S.Y. Xu and D. Wu (2013). Effect of different dietary omega-3/omega-6 fatty acid ratios on reproduction in male rats. Lipids Health Dis., 12:33.

Moallem U, Neta N, Zeron Y, Zachut M, Roth Z. Dietary α-linolenic acid from flaxseed oil or eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids from fish oil differentially alter fatty acid composition and characteristics of fresh and frozen-thawed bull semen. Theriogenology 2015; 83, 1110–20.

Tran, L.V.; B.A.; Malla; S. Kumar and A. K. Tyagi (2017). Polyunsaturated fatty acids in male ru-minant reproduction. A Review. Asian-Australas J. Anim. Sci., 30 (5): 622–37.

Brito, L.F.C.; A.D. Barth; S. Bilodeau-Goeseels; P.L. Panich and J.P. Kastelic (2003). Comparison of methods to evaluate the plasma lemma of bovine sperm and their relationship with in vitro fertilization rate. Theriogenology, 60:1539 –51.

Moce E, Graham JK. In vitro evaluation of sperm quality. Anim Reprod Sci 2008; 105:104 –18.

Gholami H, Chamani M, Towhidi A, Fazeli MH. Improvement of Semen Quality in Holstein Bulls during Heat Stress by Dietary Supplementation of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.Int J Fertil Steril. Jan 2011; 4(4):160–7

Santos JEP, Bilby TR, Thatcher WW, Staples CR, Silvestre ET. Longc hain fatty acids of diet as factor influencing reproduction in cattle. Reprod. Dom Anim 2008; 43:23-30.

Robinson JJ, Ashworth CJ, Rooke JA, Mitchell LM, McEvoy TG. Nutrition and fertili-ty in ruminant livestock. Anim. Feed Sci., Technol 2006; 126:259–76.

Rooke, JA, Shao CC, Speake BK. Ef-fects of feeding tuna oil on the lipid composi-tion of pig spermatozoa and in vitro characteris-tics of semen. Reprod 2001; 121:315–22.

Brinsko SP, Dickson DV, Charles CL, T.L. Blancharda TL, Dayc BC, Wilson ME. Effect of feeding a DHA-enriched nutriceutical on the quality of fresh, cooled and frozen stal-lion semen. Theriogenology 2005; 63:1519–27.

Gulliver CE, Friend MA, King BJ, Clay-ton ET. The role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in reproduction of sheep and cattle. Anim Reprod Sci 2012; 131, 9–22.

Hafez ES. Reproduction in farm animals. 5th ed Philadelphia lea & Febig 1987.

Vizcarra JA, Kirb JD, Kreider DL. Testis development and gonadotropin secretion in broiler breeder males. Poult Sci 2010; 89(2):328–34.

O'Donnell L, McLachlan RI, Wreford NG, Robertson DM. Testosterone promotes the conversion of round spermatids between stages VII and VIII of the rat spermatogenic cy-cle. Endocrinology 1994; 135(6):2608–14.

Petit HV, Twagiramungu H. Conception rate and reproductive function of dairy cows fed different fat sources. Theriogenology 2006; 66: 1316–24.

Dirandeh E, Towhidi A, Zeinoaldini S, Ganjkhanlou M, Ansari Pirsaraei Z, Fouladi Nashta A. Effects of different polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementations during the postpar-tum periods of early lactating dairy cows on milk yield, metabolic responses, and reproduc-tive performances. J Anim Sci 2013; 91(2): 713–21.

Hawkins DE, Niswender KD, Oss GM, Moeller CL, Odde KG, Sawyer HR et al. An increase in serum lipids increases luteal lipid content and alters the disappearance rate of progesterone in cows. J Anim Sci 1995; 73: 541–5.

McLachlan RI, O’Donnell L, Meachem SJ, Stanton PG, de Kretser DM, Pratis K, Rob-ertson DM. Identification of specific sites of hormonal regulation in spermatogenesis in rats, monkeys and man. Rec. Prog. Horm. Res 2002; 57, 149–79.




How to Cite

Abu El-Hamd, M., Metwally, A. S., Hegazy, M., Ghallab, Z., & Elateeqy, O. (2019). EFFECT OF SUPPLEMENTATION OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS ON BLOOD PARAMETERS AND SEMEN QUALITY OF FRIESIAN BULLS. SLOVENIAN VETERINARY RESEARCH, 56(22-Suppl). https://doi.org/10.26873/SVR-817-2019



Veterinary Medicine and The One Health Concept