Effects of High-Sucrose and High-Saturated Fat Diets on Learning Abilities in Old Sprague-Dawley Rats
With an increase in longevity, many studies have explored the influences of different lifestyle factors on successful aging. This study hypothesizes that older rats fed with a nutritionally balanced standard diet would perform better on learning tasks than rats fed with either a high-sucrose or a high-saturated fat. It also hypothesizes that older rats fed with a high-sucrose diet would perform better than those fed with a high-saturated fat. The learning abilities of the 15-month-old rats (N = 36) were assessed by conducting forward and reverse learning tasks using a T-maze apparatus. The results showed that rats on a nutritionally balanced diet performed significantly better on both learning tasks than those on either the high-sucrose or the high-saturated fat (p’s < .05). This may be due to the fact that the high-sucrose and high-saturated fat diets exacerbated a cognitive decline in geriatric rats. There was no significant difference between the learning abilities of the rats on a high-sucrose or high-saturated fat diet (p’s > .05). This finding suggests that, at an older age, both high-sucrose and high-saturated fat diets have a similarly detrimental influence on cognitive health.
Copyright (c) 2021 Ji Min Lee, Tahmarah Otoo, Marisol Brito, Amanda Jaimes, Arlene Martinez, Jennifer Trevitt
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