Relationship of docosahexaenoic acid (dha) intake to concussion incidence and recovery in the adolescent athlete population

Update item information
Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Health
Department College of Health
Author Perry, Danielle Nicole
Title Relationship of docosahexaenoic acid (dha) intake to concussion incidence and recovery in the adolescent athlete population
Date 2016
Description Sports-related concussion injuries are serious neurological conditions that can result in negative short- and long-term cognitive symptoms, of which adolescent athletes may be at higher risk. Currently, there are no active prevention or treatment strategies for concussion injuries. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation has been proposed as a treatment for concussions due to its important roles in the brain and from rat supplementation studies showing positive effects on mild traumatic brain injury. Additional nutrients may also be important in the incidence and recovery of concussion injuries due to their role in oxidative stress and inflammation. Habitual dietary intake of these nutrients is not well characterized in the adolescent athlete population and no human studies to date have evaluated the effect of dietary intake on concussion incidence and recovery. The aims of this study were to evaluate dietary adequacy of the adolescent athlete population and assess the relationship between nutrient intakes and concussion incidence, recovery, and recurrence. Participants (n=247) included boys' football (n=144) and girls' soccer (n=103) high school athletes. The athletes completed a Youth/Adolescent Food Frequency Questionnaire to evaluate nutrient intake and a baseline ImPACT test to help assess recovery should a concussion injury occur. Concussion diagnoses and recovery course were documented by onsite certified athletic trainers. Nutrient intake was compared to recommended values. Relationships between the dietary variables and concussion incidence and recovery measures were evaluated using logistic regression and Spearman's correlations. Overall dietary quality and DHA intake was poor for boys' football and girls' soccer athletes. Significant individual predictors of concussion diagnosis were percent energy intake from protein, percent energy intake from added sugar, and zinc intake in the overall population and for boys' football athletes. No significant predictors (p>0.05) were identified for the outcome of delayed recovery. DHA intake was not significantly associated (p>0.05) with concussion incidence or measures of recovery. This study highlighted the importance of dietary intervention and education in the adolescent population, as overall dietary intake was poor. Further research should involve supplementation studies to evaluate the effect of adequate nutrient intake.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Nutrition; Kinesiology
Dissertation Name Master of Science in Nutrition
Language eng
Rights Management ©Danielle Nicole Perry
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 27,013 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/4090
ARK ark:/87278/s6n33587
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2016-08-25
Date Modified 2018-01-10
ID 197640
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6n33587
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