Introduction: Prenatal nutritional status plays a remarkable role in neurocognitive development of an offspring. Although, essential nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamins are being supplemented during pregnancy, very few studies have focussed on essential brain nutrients and its role on foetal mental development and neurocognitive outcomes through ageing. Studies show that prenatal supplementation of essential brain nutrient such as choline alone enhances learning and memory functions and protects adult rats against spatial memory deficits across the lifespan. Similarly, studies also show that supplementation of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) during pregnancy confers positive developmental outcomes in the offspring such as increased birth weight, enhanced visual acuity, hand to eye coordination, attention, problem solving and information processing. Aim: To assess the neurocognitive developmental outcomes of early adolescent rats prenatally supplemented with either choline or DHA or both. Materials and Methods: E0 Day pregnant dams were divided into five groups 1: Normal control, 2: Saline control 3: Choline 4: DHA, 5: Choline+DHA. Pregnant dams from the normal control group were undisturbed in their home cage and were provided normal animal feed and water ad libitum. Saline, choline (4.6 mmol/kg/day) and DHA (400 mg/day of DHA) were supplemented to appropriate groups during the same period. Subsequent to weaning period, rat pups from all groups of dams were subjected to t-maze and passive avoidance tests. Results: The behavioural studies indicate that offspring prenatally treated with (Group 5) both choline and DHA showed significantly (p<0.001) enhanced memory and learning ability, when compared to the same in age matched untreated groups or those treated with choline and DHA alone separately. Conclusion: Synergistic supplementation of choline and DHA rather than anyone of them singly during foetal development periods enhances their neurocognitive outcomes during early adolescence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry