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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Oct;1820(10):1490-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2012.05.010. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Conjugated linoleic acid in the maternal diet differentially enhances growth and cortical spreading depression in the rat progeny.

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Laboratório de Fisiologia da Nutrição Naíde Teodósio, Departamento de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, PE, 50670-901, Brazil.



Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are fatty acids that are found in the lipids from goat milk, and appear to protect neurons from excitotoxicity.


We investigated in developing rats the effects of a maternal CLA-rich diet (containing 7% lipids from goat milk) on body development and cerebral electrical activity of the progeny from dams receiving the CLA diet during gestation (G), lactation (L) or both periods (G+L).


Compared to a control group (C) receiving a diet with 7% soybean oil, body weight increased at 14, 21 and 28 days, but not at 35-45 days, in L and G+L groups (P<0.05). No intergroup difference was found on body and brain weights, body length, abdominal and thoracic circumferences, body mass index and abdominal to thoracic circumference ratio at 35-45 days. In contrast, at this later age the CSD velocities of propagation were significantly higher (P<0.05) in L as compared with the C and G group, and in the L+G, as compared with the C, G and L groups, suggesting a long-lasting brain effect.


These data indicate that a maternal CLA-rich diet can differentially influence body weight increment (short-term effect), and CSD propagation (long-term effect) in the progeny, and the lactation is the most critical period for such diet actions.


The facilitating effect of the lipids from goat milk on an excitability-related phenomenon in the brain (CSD) can be of clinical relevance, since CSD has been associated to neurological disturbances like migraine and epilepsy.

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