Objectives The socio-economic impact from age-related mental decline is escalating. Supplementation of functional foods for sustaining mental health is desirable. We examined the effect of long-term supplementation of complex milk lipid concentrate (CMLc), mixed dairy phospholipids, on memory and associated vascular and neuronal changes in aged rats.
Methods Fisher/Norway Brown rats were used. Two groups of aged rats (24 months) were fed with either gelatin-formulated CMLc or blank gelatin as the control, for 4 months. To determine age-related changes, a young group (5 months) was also fed with blank gelatin.
Morris water maze tests were carried out after the supplementation and brain tissues were collected for biological analysis. Results The aged control rats learnt to locate the platform slower than the young control rats during acquisition trials (*P < 0.05), and made fewer entries to and more initial heading errors from the platform zone during testing trials (*P < 0.05).
The CMLc supplementation improved memory by showing the reduced initial heading errors in a delayed probe trial (#P < 0.05). We also found that the aged rats with CMLc supplementation improved vascular density, dopamine output, and neuroplasticity (#P < 0.05) in the brain regions involved in memory compared with that of the aged control rats. Discussion The data suggested that the supplementation of CMLc during the early stage of brain aging may prevent memory decline possibly through improving vascular and neuronal function.
Source: Nutr Neurosci.