Send to

Choose Destination
J Exerc Rehabil. 2018 Aug 24;14(4):540-544. doi: 10.12965/jer.1836298.149. eCollection 2018 Aug.

The combined impacts of docosahexaenoic acid, endurance physical exercise, and prolonged fasting on brain function.

Author information

Department of Physical Education, College of Arts, Design and Sports Science, Dong-Eui University, Busan, Korea.
Division of Marine Bioscience, Korea Maritime and Ocean University, Busan, Korea.


Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) is highly enriched in the membrane phospholipids of the brain, neuronal tissue and retina. Accumulating evidence suggests that brain DHA is necessary for maintaining for optimal function of the cognition and the visual system, particularly the photoreceptor, the retina. Loss of brain DHA, especially during crucial brain development period, was highly associated with visual and cognitive defects. Here it would be addressed the effect of DHA on brain functions as assessed by spatial task performance using a first generation model which is similar to human nutrition case. And also, it was well known that prolonged fasting and energy restriction with endurance physical exercise stimulate cognitive function and brain function, which is caused by upregulated ketone body and upregulated brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) responses. In the DHA intake or prolonged physical exercise, upregulated BDNF can activate mitochondrial biogenesis to elevate neuronal bioenergetics and enable synaptic formation. And it also can activate DNA repair in neurons. Further study on the mechanisms about the combine effects of supplementation of DHA and energy restriction on brain function is urgently needed in this area.


Brain function; Brain-derived neurotropic factor; Docosahexaenoic acid; Endurance physical exercise; N-3 fatty acid deficiency; Prolonged fasting

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

Publication type

Publication type

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Korean Society of Exercise Rehabilitation Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center