Poor adolescent diet may influence brain and behavior in adulthood

June 19, 2017

Adolescent male mice fed a diet lacking omega-3 fatty acids show increased anxiety-like behavior and worse performance on a memory task in adulthood, according to new research published in The Journal of Neuroscience. The study suggests adequate nutrition in adolescence is important for the refinement of the adult brain and behavior.

The structure and function of the brain continue to change throughout adolescence, at the same time that teenagers gain increasing independence and begin to make their own food choices. Since high-calorie, low-quality diets tend to be more affordable than healthy ones, teenagers may opt for foods that lack key nutrients important for brain health such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), which cannot be produced by the human body and must be obtained from foods such as fish and vegetables.

Oliver Manzoni and colleagues fed mice a balanced diet until , when some mice were switched to a diet lacking n-3 PUFAs. Mice fed the poor diet during adolescence had reduced levels of n-3 PUFA in the and the nucleus accumbens in adulthood compared to control mice. The low-quality diet impaired the brain's ability to fine-tune connections between neurons in these regions.

Explore further: Additional benefit of omega-3 fatty acids for the clearance of metabolites from the brain

More information: Amplification of mGlu5-endocannabinoid signaling rescues behavioral and synaptic deficits in a mouse model of adolescent and adult dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids, Journal of Neuroscience (2017). content/early/2017/06/19/JNEUROSCI.3516-16.2017

Related Stories

Additional benefit of omega-3 fatty acids for the clearance of metabolites from the brain

October 26, 2016
New research published online in The FASEB Journal suggests that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are found in fish oil, could improve the function of the glymphatic system, which facilitates the clearance of waste ...

Why fish intake by pregnant women improves the growth of a child's brain

January 14, 2016
Researchers at Tohoku University's School of Medicine have found an explanation for the correlation between eating fish during pregnancy, and the health of the baby's brain.

High-fat diet disrupts brain maturation

November 15, 2016
The latest study by researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich suggests that excessive consumption of fatty foods could severely disrupt the development of the prefrontal cortex in the maturing brains of young ...

Studies link healthy brain aging to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood

May 18, 2017
Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging.

Diets rich in polyunsaturated fats may alter appetite hormones among millennials

June 15, 2017
New published research shows millennials (ages 18-35) who regularly consume foods that contain polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), such as walnuts, salmon and canola oil, may experience favorable changes in appetite hormones associated ...

High-fat diet alters reward system in rats

May 29, 2017
Exposure to high-fat diet from childhood may increase the sensitivity of the dopamine system later in adulthood, according to a study in male rats published in eNeuro. The research describes potential mechanisms that, if ...

Recommended for you

'Selfish brain' wins out when competing with muscle power, study finds

October 20, 2017
Human brains are expensive - metabolically speaking. It takes lot of energy to run our sophisticated grey matter, and that comes at an evolutionary cost.

Researchers find shifting relationship between flexibility, modularity in the brain

October 19, 2017
A new study by Rice University researchers takes a step toward what they see as key to the advance of neuroscience: a better understanding of the relationship between the brain's flexibility and its modularity.

Want to control your dreams? Here's how

October 19, 2017
New research at the University of Adelaide has found that a specific combination of techniques will increase people's chances of having lucid dreams, in which the dreamer is aware they're dreaming while it's still happening ...

Brain training can improve our understanding of speech in noisy places

October 19, 2017
For many people with hearing challenges, trying to follow a conversation in a crowded restaurant or other noisy venue is a major struggle, even with hearing aids. Now researchers reporting in Current Biology on October 19th ...

Investigating the most common genetic contributor to Parkinson's disease

October 19, 2017
LRRK2 gene mutations are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), but the normal physiological role of this gene in the brain remains unclear. In a paper published in Neuron, Brigham and Women's Hospital ...

New procedure enables cultivation of human brain sections in the petri dish

October 19, 2017
Researchers at the University of Tübingen have become the first to keep human brain tissue alive outside the body for several weeks. The researchers, headed by Dr. Niklas Schwarz, Dr. Henner Koch and Dr. Thomas Wuttke at ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.