Fish oil supplementation and physical exercise program: Distinct effects on different memory tasks

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Abstract

Both fish oil supplementation and physical exercise are able to induce benefits to mental health by providing an improvement in cognitive performance and enhancing neuroplasticity and protection against neurological lesions. The aim of the present study was to investigate the cognitive effects in rats of the: (1) a diary and prolonged fish oil supplementation (85 mg/kg/day) initiated from prenatal period to the midlife (300 day/old); (2) moderate physical exercise in treadmill initiated from adolescent period to midlife and (3) association of fish oil supplementation and moderate physical exercise protocol during the same period. Animals were submitted to the habituation in the open-field, object recognition and to the plus-maze discriminative avoidance tasks. Our results demonstrated that a diary and prolonged fish oil supplementation can facilitate the persistence of the long-term habituation and recognition memories without, however, affecting the discriminative avoidance memory. Conversely, although the program of physical exercise exerted no effects on habituation or objects recognition, it was able to potentiate the persistence of the discriminative avoidance memory. Such promnestic effects (induced by both fish oil supplementation and physical exercise) were not accompanied by alterations in emotionality or locomotor activity. Our findings suggest that fish oil supplementation, initiated from prenatal period to midlife, and physical exercise program applied throughout the life induced distinctly a better cognitive performance.

HIGHLIGHTS

▸ Cognitive effects of fish oil concomitantly or not with exercise were investigated.

HIGHLIGHTS

▸ Fish oil facilitated the long-term habituation and recognition memories.

HIGHLIGHTS

▸ Physical exercise facilitated the discriminative avoidance memory.

HIGHLIGHTS

▸ Both treatments improved cognitive function in mature rats with no synergic effects.

HIGHLIGHTS

▸ The cognitive effect was critically dependent on the type of memory evaluated.

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