Jessica E. Beilharz

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In the context of the well-documented metabolic and behavioural effects of supplementing rats' diets with access to a sucrose solution, the aim of this study was to compare the impact of 10% sucrose with that of an isoenergetic (10.4%) solution of hydrolysed starch, maltodextrin. This polysaccharide is metabolised at least as rapidly as sucrose and is also(More)
Changes in food composition and availability have contributed to the dramatic increase in obesity over the past 30-40 years in developed and, increasingly, in developing countries. The brain plays a critical role in regulating energy balance. Some human studies have demonstrated increased preference for high fat and high sugar foods in people reporting(More)
It is of vital importance to understand how the foods which are making us fat also act to impair cognition. In this review, we compare the effects of acute and chronic exposure to high-energy diets on cognition and examine the relative contributions of fat (saturated and polyunsaturated) and sugar to these deficits. Hippocampal-dependent memory appears to(More)
High energy diets have been shown to impair cognition however, the rapidity of these effects, and the dietary component/s responsible are currently unclear. We conducted two experiments in rats to examine the effects of short-term exposure to a diet rich in sugar and fat or rich in sugar on object (perirhinal-dependent) and place (hippocampal-dependent)(More)
Short-term exposure to high-energy diets impairs memory but there is little data on the relative contributions of fat and sugar to these deficits or the mechanisms responsible. Here, we investigated how these different macronutrients affect memory, neuroinflammation and neuroplasticity markers and the gut microbiota. Rats were fed matched purified diets for(More)
Chronic high-energy diets are known to induce obesity and impair memory; these changes have been associated with inflammation in brain areas crucial for memory. In this study, we investigated whether inflammation could also be related to diet-induced memory deficits, prior to obesity. We exposed rats to chow, chow supplemented with a 10% sucrose solution(More)
The western diet is known to have detrimental effects on cognition and the gut microbiota, but few studies have investigated how these may be related. Here, we examined whether a probiotic could prevent diet-induced memory deficits. Rats were pre-exposed to vehicle, low or high doses of VSL#3 for 2 weeks before half were switched from chow to a cafeteria(More)
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