Omega-3 PUFA metabolism and brain modifications during aging.


Research Center on Aging, Health and Social Services Centre, University Institute of Geriatrics of Sherbrooke, Department of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, 1036 Belvédère Sud, Sherbrooke J1H 4C4, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]


In Canada, 5.5 million (16% of Canadians) adults are >65 years old and projections suggest this number will be approximately 20% of Canadians by 2024. A major concern regarding old age is a decline in health, especially if this entails a loss of self-sufficiency and independence caused by a decline in cognition. The brain contains 60% of fat and is one of the most concentrated organs in long chain omega-3 fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). During aging, there are physiological modifications in the metabolism of lipids that could also have consequences on brain structure and levels of DHA. This review will hence discuss the physiological modifications in the metabolism of lipids during aging with a focus on long chain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and also outline the structural and functional modifications of the brain during aging including brain lipid modifications and its relation to higher levels of DHA and cognition. Therefore, in this review, we outline the importance of collecting more data on the biology of aging since it might highly improve our understanding about what are «normal» modifications occurring during aging and what can become pathological.


Aging,Brain function,Brain structure,Docosahexaenoic acid,Fatty acids,Lipid metabolism,