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Nutrients 2014, 6(9), 3624-3640; doi:10.3390/nu6093624

Fatty Acid Status and Its Relationship to Cognitive Decline and Homocysteine Levels in the Elderly

1
Laboratory of Toxicology (LATOX), Department of Analysis, Pharmacy Faculty, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre 90610000, RS, Brazil
2
Post-graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PPGCF), Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre 90610000, RS, Brazil
3
Institute of Psychology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre 90035003, RS, Brazil
4
Department of Health Sciences, Lutheran University of Brazil, Santa Maria 97020001, RS, Brazil
5
Department of Alimentary Technology and Science, Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), Santa Maria 97105900, RS, Brazil
6
Department of Nutritional Toxicology, Institute of Nutrition, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena 07743, Germany
7
Department of Applied Nutritional Science and Dietetics, Institute of Nutritional Medicine, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart 70593, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 May 2014 / Revised: 11 July 2014 / Accepted: 28 August 2014 / Published: 12 September 2014
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Abstract

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially the n-3 series, are known for their protective effects. Considering that cardiovascular diseases are risk factors for dementia, which is common at aging, the aim of this study was to evaluate whether fatty acid status in the elderly was associated with cognitive function and cardiovascular risk. Forty-five elderly persons (age ≥60 years) were included and divided into two groups based on their Mini-Mental Status Examination score adjusted for educational level: the case group (n = 12) and the control group (n = 33). Serum fatty acid composition, homocysteine (Hcy), hs-CRP, lipid profile and different cognitive domains were evaluated. The case group, characterized by reduced cognitive performance, showed higher levels of 14:0, 16:0, 16:1n-7 fatty acids and lower levels of 22:0, 24:1n-9, 22:6n-3 (DHA) and total PUFAs compared to the control group (p < 0.05). The n-6/n-3 ratio was elevated in both study groups, whereas alterations in Hcy, hs-CRP and lipid profile were observed in the case group. Cognitive function was positively associated with the 24:1n-9, DHA and total n-3 PUFAs, while 14:0, 16:0 and 16:1n-7 fatty acids, the n-6/n-3 ratio and Hcy were inversely associated. In addition, n-3 PUFAs, particularly DHA, were inversely associated with cardiovascular risk, assessed by Hcy levels in the elderly. View Full-Text
Keywords: aging; fatty acids; n-3 PUFA; cognitive decline; homocysteine; inflammation aging; fatty acids; n-3 PUFA; cognitive decline; homocysteine; inflammation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Baierle, M.; Vencato, P.H.; Oldenburg, L.; Bordignon, S.; Zibetti, M.; Trentini, C.M.; Duarte, M.M.M.F.; Veit, J.C.; Somacal, S.; Emanuelli, T.; Grune, T.; Breusing, N.; Garcia, S.C. Fatty Acid Status and Its Relationship to Cognitive Decline and Homocysteine Levels in the Elderly. Nutrients 2014, 6, 3624-3640.

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