Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Nutrition


Food Science and Nutrition


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Angelos Sikalidis

Advisor Department

Food Science and Nutrition

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


The objective of this study was to investigate the diet-induced metabolic changes that affect the brain tissue of juvenile pigs with NAFLD. This study explored the liver- brain axis and metabolic markers in the frontal cortex (FC) affected by liver damage. 18 male (M) and 20 female (F) Iberian pigs were randomly allocated to 1 of 3 high-fructose high-fat liquid diets (lard, olive oil, and coconut oil) and fed for 10 consecutive weeks. “Healthy” Iberian pigs were fed a eucaloric diet to establish a physiological baseline. Protein precipitation extraction using ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry was performed for primary metabolic and bile acid assays on FC samples. Univariate data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA, which included diet as the fixed effect and both replicate and pen nested in the diet as random effects. A more pronounced separation was observed in the PLS-DA between the COC and LAR/OLI diets. LC, C14:0 SM, and kynurenine, all metabolites linked to brain health, showed elevated levels in COC-fed pigs and reduced levels in animals fed OLI. Each of the three diets demonstrated heightened ratios of secondary bile acids to primary bile acids, with OLI-fed pigs showing increased TDCA:CA and TLCA:CA ratios associated with neurodegeneration (MahmoudianDehkordi et al., 2019). In conclusion, results may suggest that LAR could represent a more favorable dietary intervention for promoting brain health in pediatric NAFLD but further research is required.

Available for download on Tuesday, January 21, 2025

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