Saturated fats can affect the cognitive development of adolescents
The study was carried out in two groups of mice, the participants of one of them were given a diet in which 45 percent of the calories came from Saturated Fats, the second group received a conventional diet that had the same number of calories as the previous one, but in whose composition carbohydrates predominated .
The experts found that animals in adolescent age developed a certain obesity and presented important brain dysfunctions , especially related to memory . In contrast, adult mice that received the same diet did not suffer from memory alterations, although they were also obese.
To test the memory of the mice, the experts used a spatial recognition test in which an enclosure containing two pieces of plastic was used: one of them known to mice, and the other unknown, to which the investigators changed their position in the enclosure. They verified that those subjects who had ingested more saturated fats during the adolescent stage had lost the ability to distinguish the known object and the new one , which did not happen with the adult individuals.
This alteration of behavior was accompanied by changes in the neuronal structure that affected, above all, the hippocampus . It was also observed that in this part of the brain there was a partial loss of the effect of laleptine .