Olive oil-enriched diet reduces brain oxidative damages

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Researchers aim was to assess the influence of maternal diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids on oxidative and molecular parameters in brains of mouse pups as well as their body weight during their lifetime.

Female rats received a diet containing 20% of olive oil (OOED) and a standard diet (CD) in different periods: pregnancy, lactation and after weaning until pups’ adulthood.

On the last prenatal day (Group 1), embryos from OOED group showed smaller body weight, brain weight and lower levels of sulphydryl groups (GSH) in the brain.

On postnatal day-21 (PND21) (Group 2), pups from OOED group showed higher body weight and brain weight, reduced brain weight/ body weight ratio, and lower brain lipid peroxidation (LP). On PND70 (Group 3), pups from OOED group showed lower brain LP and higher levels of GSH in prefrontal cortex, and lower brain levels of reactive species (RS) in the hippocampus.

Interestingly, the group of animals whose diet was modified from OOED to CD on PND21 showed greater weight gain compared to the group that remained in the same original diet (OOED) until adulthood.

Furthermore, OOED consumption during pregnancy and lactation significantly increased BDNF only, as well as its main transcripts exon IV and VI mRNA levels in the prefrontal cortex. In addition, OOED significantly up-regulated FGF-2 mRNA levels in the prefrontal cortex.

These findings open a pioneering line of investigation about dietary adjunctive therapeutic strategies and the potential of healthy dietary habits to prevent neonatal conditions, and their influence on adulthood.

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