Master of Science
Department or Program
Banz, William J
AN ABSTRACT OF THE RESEARCH PAPER OF
MARIE E. FUNK, for the Master of Science degree in FOOD AND NUTRITION & KINESIOLOGY, approved on NOVEMBER 1, 2016, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
TITLE: SELECT DIETARY FATTY ACIDS MODULATE BRAIN LONG CHAIN OMEGA-3 AND OMEGA-6 PUFA CONTENET IN MICE
MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. William Banz
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of mental and physical disability and death in the general population. Neuronal dysfunction and behavioral decline associated with TBI can result from membrane instability in neurons, synaptic junctions, glia, endothelial cells and intracellular organelles. Membrane integrity, and reaction to extrinsic insult, are highly dependent upon dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), due to brain accretion of long-chain omega-3 PUFAs. The present study was designed to examine the influence of various dietary fatty acids on brain long-chain omega-3 PUFA content. Mice were fed one of five diets: 1) a diet containing corn oil, 2) conventional soybean oil, 3) SDA-enriched soybean oil, 4) flaxseed oil, or 5) fish oil for 9 weeks. At the end of the study, brains were removed and frozen for subsequent fatty acid analysis via gas chromatography (GC). GC data were used to determine the percent area under the curve for key fatty acids, and these values were used to perform statistical analyses (ANOVA). SDA Soy Oil and Flaxseed Oil diets lowered arachidonic acid (AA) relative to all plant oil groups, but not as low as fish oil (p<0.05). Conversely, SDA soy and flaxseed oil increased docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) relative to all other plant oil groups, but not as high as fish oil (p<0.05). These changes were reflected in the n6:n3 ratios, where the results were consistent with the AA findings: SDA Soy oil and flaxseed oil produced lower n6:n3 ratios compared to the other plant oil groups, but not as low as fish oil (p<0.05). In the present study, SDA-enriched soybean oil and flaxseed oil may represent a sustainable and efficient alternative to marine-based n-3 PUFAs, and could have novel therapeutic uses regarding brain related pathologies.