Show Details

Fat Memories

May 18, 2009

Eating fat helps consolidate long-term memories.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Why it’s hard to forget fat…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Is it any surprise that we might remember every detail of a rich, delicious, high-fat meal? Well now, researchers may have identified a biological basis for those vivid memories. Daniele Piomelli and his colleagues at the University of California, Irvine, looked at a compound called OEA that’s formed in the small intestine after eating fat. It was known that OEA sends a fullness signal to the brain. But the researchers also found that giving OEA to rats helped them retain memories better.

DANIELE PIOMELLI (UC Irvine):
It suggests that fats are so important to our health that animals have evolved ways to remember about them.

HIRSHON:
Piomelli says OEA seems to help consolidate all kinds of memory, not just those related to food. They’re now planning on testing whether OEA could act as a drug to improve memory problems. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.