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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: THE EFFECTS OF STRAWBERRIES ON COGNITION AND NEURONAL COMMUNICATION IN AGING: MECHANISTIC CONSIDERATIONS

Location: Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

Title: The effects of blueberry supplementation in middle aged mice consuming a high fat diet

Authors
item Carey, Amanda
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara

Submitted to: Society for Neuroscience Abstracts and Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 21, 2012
Publication Date: October 13, 2012
Citation: Carey, A.N., Shukitt Hale, B. 2012. The effects of blueberry supplementation in middle aged mice consuming a high fat diet [abstract]. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts and Proceedings. Paper No. 865:01.

Technical Abstract: Consuming a high fat diet may result in behavioral deficits that are similar to those observed in aging animals, possibly because of increased brain inflammation and oxidative stress. Our lab has demonstrated that diets supplemented with polyphenolic- rich berries, such as blueberries, can allay behavioral deficits associated with aging. Thus, it stands to reason that supplementation of a high fat diet with blueberry may offer protection against these putative high fat diet-related declines. Nine month old C57Bl/6 mice were maintained on one of four diets for a five month period: low fat (Harlan, TD.08806, 10% calories from fat), low fat + 4% blueberry (freeze-dried extract, provided by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council), high fat (TD.06414, lard-based, 60% calories from fat), and high fat + 4% blueberry. Mice were tested with the novel object recognition memory task after 2, 3, and 4 months on the diets. Mice were also tested in the Morris water maze for spatial memory after 5 months on the diets. Studies are ongoing, but preliminary data suggest that recognition memory performance was impaired by high fat diet and blueberry-supplementation prevented some of the recognition memory deficits. The goal of the study is to begin to determine if making small changes to a poor diet, like incorporating more nutrient dense foods, may allay or prevent cognitive dysfunction associated with consumption of a high fat diet.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014