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Monday, 30 September 2013
Contrary to previous studies, new research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in salmon and in nuts, may not benefit thinking skills.
To test the hypothesis that higher levels of red blood cell (RBC) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have a protective association with domain-specific cognitive function in women aged 65 years and older.
Researchers at the University of Iowa examined 2,157 women aged 65 to 80 who were enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative clinical trials of hormone therapy. Researchers gave the women annual tests of memory and thinking skills for an average of six years. Blood tests were taken to measure the amount of omega-3s in the patients’ blood before the start of the study.
The researchers did not find any difference between the women with high and low levels of omega-3s in the blood at the time of the first memory tests. There was also not a difference between the two groups in how fast their thinking skills declined over time.
They conclude “We did not find an association between RBC DHA + EPA levels and age-associated cognitive decline in a cohort of older, dementia-free women.”
SOURCE: Neurology, September 2013