An experimental study on transcutaneous absorption of ethylesters of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) in pigs.

Acta veterinaria Scandinavica

PubMedID: 8996873

Taugbøl O, Framstad T, Rest JR. An experimental study on transcutaneous absorption of ethylesters of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) in pigs. Acta Vet Scand. 1997;37(3):273-7.
Twenty-two pigs with an average weight of 24.2 kg were divided into two groups. Five grams of an ointment containing 40% of the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) as ethylesters, was administered cutaneously to the experimental group and orally to the control group twice daily over a 3 day period. Surgical biopsies of subcutaneous fat of all 22 pigs were taken before and after the ethylester administration period. Blood samples were taken from the jugular vein. Skin biopsies were taken after the application period, and the presence of pathological features and inter-animal variation were noted. No increase of EPA and DHA in subcutaneous fat was found in either group. In the oral group the content of EPA had increased in the total plasma lipids on the first day after the end of the experiment. It is concluded that a rapid transcutaneous absorption of EPA and DHA as ethylesters does not seem to occur in pigs.