Send to

Choose Destination
Nutr Res. 2009 Jun;29(6):426-35. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2009.06.001.

Supplementation with a mixture of complex lipids derived from milk to growing rats results in improvements in parameters related to growth and cognition.

Author information

Liggins Institute and the National Research Centre for Growth and Development, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


Alterations in nutritional factors during early development can exert long-term effects on growth, neural function, and associated behaviors. The lipid component of milk provides a critical nutritional source for generating both energy and essential nutrients for the growth of the newborn. The present study, therefore, investigated the hypothesis that nutritional supplementation with a complex milk lipid (CML) preparation, derived from the milk fat globule membrane rich in phospholipids and gangliosides from young rats, has beneficial effects on learning behavior and postnatal growth and development. Male Wistar rat offspring from normal pregnancies were treated from neonatal day 10 until postnatal day 80 with either vehicle or CML at a dose of 0.2% (low) and 1.0% (high) based on total food intake (n = 16 per group). Neonatal dosing was via daily oral gavage, while postweaning dosing was via gel supplementation to a standard chow diet. Animals underwent behavioral tasks related to spatial memory, learning, and cognitive function. Complex milk lipid supplementation significantly increased linear growth rate (P < .05), and the improved growth trajectory was not related to changes in body composition as quantified by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scanning or altered plasma lipid profiles. Moreover, this effect was not dose dependent and not attributable to the contribution to total energy intake of the CML composition. Supplementation of the CML to growing rats resulted in statistically significant improvements in parameters related to novelty recognition (P < .02) and spatial memory (P < .05) using standard behavioral techniques, but operant testing showed no significant differences between treatment groups. Supplementation with a CML containing gangliosides had positive growth and learning behavioral effects in young normal growing rats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center