Saturated free fatty acids and association with memory formation

Journal:
Nature Communications
Published:
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-021-23840-3
Affiliations:
5
Authors:
9

Research Highlight

Fatty acid levels rise during memory formation

© AshaSathees Photography/Moment/Getty Images

The way by which saturated fatty acids can help with learning and memory acquisition in rats has been determined.

Saturated fatty acids, which are found in foods such as meat and dairy products, are generally considered bad for health because they can raise cholesterol levels.

Now, researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia have systematically profiled the fatty acid content of rat brains as the animals learned to predict aversive stimuli. They discovered that levels of fatty acids — and saturated fats such as myristic acid, which is abundant in coconut oil and butter, in particular — rose in the brain’s learning centre as the rats formed new memories.

The findings help explain how fat intake impacts the brain, and they could lead to new dietary strategies for improving memory and learning abilities.

Supported content

References

  1. Nature Communications 12, 3443 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-23840-3
Institutions Authors Share
The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia
8.500000
0.94
SUSTech-UQ Joint Center for Neuroscience and Neural Engineering, China
0.500000
0.06