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Can eating salmon milt boost brain function?


Researchers from Kanazawa University in Japan have suggested the use of salmon milt to improve brain function in healthy individuals. Their findings were published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

  • Studies have shown that salmon milt extract has antioxidant potential and is a rich source of nucleic acids.
  • Despite its ability to improve brain function in animal models with brain disease, its effects on learning and memory in healthy subjects are unknown.
  • For the study, the team aimed to determine the effects of hydrolyzed salmon milt extract (HSME) on object recognition and object location memory in vivo.
  • Healthy mice were fed a diet that contained 2.5 percent HSME and were subjected to object recognition and spatial recognition tests.
  • Researchers found that HSME-fed mice devoted more time in exploring novel and moved objects.
  • The results were similar to that of a diet containing 2.5 percent nucleic acid fraction purified from HSME, based on the same behavior tests.
  • According to the researchers, nucleic acids could be a functional component of the brain-boosting effects of HSME.
  • Gene expression of the markers for brain parenchymal cells – including neural stem cells, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglia – in the hippocampi of the HMSE-fed mice was higher than control, based on quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis.
  • In addition, oral administration of HMSE led to increased concentrations of cytosine, cytidine and deoxycytidine in the hippocampus.

In sum, HSME ingestion can boost object recognition and object location memory under normal conditions, making it a potential functional food for healthy individuals.

Journal Reference: 

Nakamichi N, Nakao S, Masuo Y, Koike A, Matsumura N, Nishiyama M, Al-Shammari AH, Sekiguchi H, Sutoh K, Usumi K, et al. HYDROLYZED SALMON MILT EXTRACT ENHANCES OBJECT RECOGNITION AND LOCATION MEMORY THROUGH AN INCREASE IN HIPPOCAMPAL CYTIDINE NUCLEOSIDE LEVELS IN NORMAL MICE. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2019;22(4):408–415. DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2018.4285

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