Poor adolescent diet may influence brain and behavior in adulthood

June 19, 2017, Society for Neuroscience

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

The brain predicts words before they are pronounced

September 18, 2018
The brain is not only able to finish the sentences of others: A study by the Basque research centre BCBL has shown for the first time that it can also anticipate an auditory stimulus and determine the phonemes and specific ...

Engineers decode conversations in brain's motor cortex

September 18, 2018
How does your brain talk with your arm? The body doesn't use English, or any other spoken language. Biomedical engineers are developing methods for decoding the conversation, by analyzing electrical patterns in the motor ...

Circuit found for brain's statistical inference about motion

September 17, 2018
As the eye tracks a bird flying past, the muscles that pan the eyeballs to keep the target in focus set their pace not only on the speed they see, but also on a reasonable estimate of the speed they expect from having watched ...

Mouse study reveals that activity, not rest, speeds recovery after brain injury

September 17, 2018
When recovering from a brain injury, getting back in the swing of things may be more effective than a prolonged period of rest, according to a new Columbia study in mice. These findings offer a compelling example of the brain's ...

Opioid users could benefit from meth-relapse prevention strategy, study finds

September 17, 2018
New research raises the possibility that a wider group of people battling substance use disorders may benefit from a Scripps Research-developed relapse-prevention compound than previously thought.

Fine-tuned sense of smell relies on timing

September 17, 2018
If you can tell the difference between a merlot and a cabernet franc just by smell, it's probably all in the timing.

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.