Sialic acid (SA) is an integral component of gangliosides and signaling molecules in the brain and its dietary intake may support cognitive development. We previously reported that feeding sialyllactose, a milk oligosaccharide that contains SA, alters SA content and diffusivity in the pig brain. The present research sought to expand upon such results and describe the effects of feeding sialyllactose on recognition memory and sleep/wake activity using a translational pig model. Pigs were provided ad libitum access to a customized milk replacer containing 0 g/L or 380 g/L of sialyllactose from postnatal day (PND) 2-22. Beginning on PND 15, pigs were fitted with accelerometers to track home-cage activity and testing on the novel object recognition task began at PND 17. There were no significant effects of diet on average daily body weight gain, average daily milk intake, or the gain-to-feed ratio during the study (all p ≥ 0.11). Pigs on both diets were able to display recognition memory on the novel object recognition task (p < 0.01), but performance and exploratory behavior did not differ between groups (all p ≥ 0.11). Total activity and percent time spent sleeping were equivalent between groups during both day and night cycles (all p ≥ 0.56). Dietary sialyllactose did not alter growth performance of young pigs, and there was no evidence that providing SA via sialyllactose benefits the development of recognition memory or gross sleep-related behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number395
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Brain
  • Cognition
  • Development
  • Nutrition
  • Oligosaccharide
  • Pig
  • Sialic acid
  • Sialyllactose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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