Dietary lipid quality, environment and the developing brain

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

1929 Downloads (Pure)


Breastfed infants may have an advantage over formula fed infants when it comes to brain development and function. One of the factors that may contribute is the difference in the quality of lipids present in human milk versus that in infant formula. This thesis describes effects of the quality of lipids in the postnatal diet on the development and function of the brain. We looked at two aspects of lipid quality, namely the omega 3 and 6 polyunsaturated fatty acid composition and the way that lipids are structurally organized in milk (i.e. lipid droplet size and surface area). Using a mouse model, we evaluated the effects of these lipid quality aspects in the early life diet on brain fatty acid accumulation, neuronal circuit formation (for this we looked at the hypothalamic circuitry in particular), cognitive function and behavior. These outcomes are investigated also in relation to the effects of these dietary interventions on growth and metabolic health. In addition, we evaluated the effects of another environmental factor in rodent studies, which was the social housing situation of rats and mice in the lab (i.e. individually housed vs socially housed), on outcomes for metabolic health (i.e. body weight, food intake and visceral fat mass) by means of a systematic review and meta-analysis. The social housing situation of animals in the lab may be a possible moderator of other experimental outcomes of diet, drugs or other interventions.
Translated title of the contributionKwaliteit van vet in voeding, omgevingsfactoren en het ontwikkelende brein
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • van Dijk, Gertjan, Supervisor
  • Scheurink, Antonius, Supervisor
  • van der Beek, Eline, Supervisor
Award date9-Apr-2018
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-0533-9
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0532-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this