The effect of fish oil supplementation on brain DHA and EPA content and fatty acid profile in mice
Supplementation with omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids may improve cognitive performance and protect against cognitive decline. However, changes in brain phospholipid fatty acid composition after supplementation with n-3 fatty acids are poorly described. The purpose of this study was to feed increasing n-3 fatty acids and characterise the changes in brain phospholipid fatty acid composition and correlate the changes with red blood cells (RBCs) and plasma in mice. Increasing dietary docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) did not alter brain DHA. Brain EPA increased and total n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids decreased across treatment groups, and correlated with fatty acid changes in the RBC (r > 0.7). Brain cis-monounsaturated fatty acids oleic and nervonic acid (p < .01) and saturated fatty acids arachidic, behenic, and lignoceric acid (p < .05) also increased. These brain fatty acid changes upon increasing n-3 intake should be further investigated to determine their effects on cognition and neurodegenerative disease.