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Fish Oil Supplements Do Not Prevent Cognitive Decline In Older People

June 13, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A systematic review of three British short-term clinical trials involving more than 3,500 people aged 60 or over has found that omega-3 fish oil supplements probably do not help older people retain cognitive function. The researchers acknowledged that the studies were relatively short, so the longer term effects of omega-3 fatty acids on cognitive decline and dementia need to be further explored. The trials, which were conducted for up to four years, compared the effects of omega-3 fatty acids taken in capsules or margarine to the effects of sunflower oil, olive oil or regular margarine (placebos). Participants given omega-3s did not score better in mental state examinations, or in memory and verbal fluency tests.
Emma Sydenham et al., ". Omega 3 fatty acid for the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia", The Cochrane Library, June 13, 2012, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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