Presentation Title

The Effects of a High Fat or High Sucrose Diet on Anxiety in Aged Rats

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-127

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

Diet is a topic of concern amongst many Americans today. Research has shown that what we eat can have effects on our mental health, particularly anxiety. However, laboratory studies examining the relationship between diet and mental health are usually done in young animals, while in the human population individuals often adopt new dietary regimes later in life. The typical Western diet is high in trans-fats (omega-6 fats) and sugar; if significant associations exist between anxiety levels and diet, it is of paramount importance to investigate these effects in an aged population. In this study we will use 160 old male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing between 300g to 600g, divided into three different diet groups: a high-fat group (37% saturated fat), high-sucrose group (35% sucrose), and control group. An open-field test, typically used in rodent studies to measure anxiety levels, will be conducted at 2 different time points for each group: baseline (day 1) and re-test 1 (day 21). A mixed-design analysis of variance results will yield significant results between diet groups and a significant main effect of time. Post hoc analysis will reveal significant differences between the control group and the high-sucrose diet group, but not the high-fat group. Furthermore, which time points were significant between the baseline scores and re-test 1. Specifically, anxiety will be increased within the high-sucrose diet group between baseline and re-test 1. Also, from baseline and re-test, during the time period where groups were switched to the custom diet, anxiety levels will increase. The implications of this study are crucial for the population. Not only will this study answer if the two elements of the western diet are detrimental for anxiety on the aging population versus the younger population, but can also have far-reaching implications for those who decide to alter eating behaviors later in life.

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Nov 12th, 1:00 PM Nov 12th, 2:00 PM

The Effects of a High Fat or High Sucrose Diet on Anxiety in Aged Rats

HUB 302-127

Diet is a topic of concern amongst many Americans today. Research has shown that what we eat can have effects on our mental health, particularly anxiety. However, laboratory studies examining the relationship between diet and mental health are usually done in young animals, while in the human population individuals often adopt new dietary regimes later in life. The typical Western diet is high in trans-fats (omega-6 fats) and sugar; if significant associations exist between anxiety levels and diet, it is of paramount importance to investigate these effects in an aged population. In this study we will use 160 old male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing between 300g to 600g, divided into three different diet groups: a high-fat group (37% saturated fat), high-sucrose group (35% sucrose), and control group. An open-field test, typically used in rodent studies to measure anxiety levels, will be conducted at 2 different time points for each group: baseline (day 1) and re-test 1 (day 21). A mixed-design analysis of variance results will yield significant results between diet groups and a significant main effect of time. Post hoc analysis will reveal significant differences between the control group and the high-sucrose diet group, but not the high-fat group. Furthermore, which time points were significant between the baseline scores and re-test 1. Specifically, anxiety will be increased within the high-sucrose diet group between baseline and re-test 1. Also, from baseline and re-test, during the time period where groups were switched to the custom diet, anxiety levels will increase. The implications of this study are crucial for the population. Not only will this study answer if the two elements of the western diet are detrimental for anxiety on the aging population versus the younger population, but can also have far-reaching implications for those who decide to alter eating behaviors later in life.