Impact of de-branched starch molecules and fatty acid complexes on the attenuation of ageing-induced cognitive impairment

Xuan Yao, Anqi Wang, Bo Gao, Yu Xue, Xueling Zhao, Xuanyu Wang, Rui Wang, Min Zhuang, Changqing Wei, Weidong Cheng, Jian Zhang, Padraig Strappe, Zhongkai Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Ageing and associated cognitive impairments are becoming serious issues around the world. In this study, the physiological properties of three kinds of complexes of fatty acid (capric, stearic and oleic acid, respectively) and de-branched starch molecules were investigated via a d-galactose-induced ageing model. This study revealed differences in the regulation of cognitive impairment and brain damage following intervention of different complexes, which might highlight a potent approach for the prevention of this chronic disease.

RESULTS: Data indicated that three complexes improved response time and cognitive function and the bio-parameter markers associated with oxidative stress in ageing rats. Among them, the complexes prepared from de-branched starch-oleic acid showed a greater improvement compared to others. In addition, de-branched starch-capric acid complex showed a higher improvement in the morphology of colon cells and hippocampal neuronal cells. The consumption of de-branched starch-capric acid and -oleic acid complexes generated more short-chain fatty acids in the gut. More importantly, the complexation of de-branched starch with either caprate or stearate enhanced gut Akkermansia. Therefore, it was proposed that the richness in Akkermansia and gut metabolites might be associated with reduced damage of the hippocampal neuronal cells induced by the ageing progress. Moreover, the AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase) pathway was activated in liver in de-branched starch-capric acid complex diet. In summary, de-branched starch-capric acid complex exhibited a greater effect on the attenuation of ageing-induced cognitive impairment.

CONCLUSION: This study might highlight a new approach for intervening in the cognitive impairment during the ageing progress via a food supply. © 2023 Society of Chemical Industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5839-5848
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number12
Early online date01 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


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