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BioFactors (Oxford, England)

Beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 supplementation on brain docosahexaenoic acid, brain derived neurotrophic factor, and cognitive performance in the second-generation Wistar rats.


PMID 26249019

Abstract

In vegetarian population, vitamin B12 deficiency coexists with suboptimal levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies indicate a need for supplementation/fortification of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids to reduce the risk of brain disorders. We have described the effects of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on brain development in F1 generation animals. The current study investigates the effects of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids supplementation on brain function and cognition. Pregnant Wistar rats were assigned the following groups: control, vitamin B12 deficient (BD), vitamin B12 deficient + omega-3 fatty acid (BDO), vitamin B12 supplemented (BS), vitamin B12 supplemented + omega-3 fatty acid (BSO). The same diets were continued for two generations. BDO group showed higher (P < 0.05) levels of BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in the cortex and hippocampus as compared with the BD group. The cognitive performance was also normalized in this group. BS showed comparable levels of DHA, BDNF (protein and mRNA), and CREB mRNA (cAMP response element-binding protein) to that of control group while Tropomyosin receptor kinase mRNA levels were higher. The combined vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation further enhanced the levels of DHA (P < 0.05) and BDNF (P < 0.05) in the hippocampus and CREB mRNA (P < 0.01) in the cortex as compared with BS group. The cognitive performance of these animals was higher (P < 0.05) as compared with BS group. Our data indicates the beneficial effects of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation across two generations on brain development and function.