Omega-3 fatty acids from fish may help prevent age-related cognitive decline, according to two new studies.
In one study, Dutch researchers examined the diet and cognitive function of 210 men, ages 70 to 89, who did not have Alzheimer's disease. The men were assessed in 1990 and again in 1995.
The researchers concluded that consumption of approximately 400 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day (equivalent to eating six servings of lean fish per week or one serving of fatty fish per week) protects against cognitive decline.
In the other study, American researchers looked at omega-3 consumption and cognitive decline in 2 251 white males, ages 50 to 65, who were initially assessed between 1987 and 1989. The men were checked again three and nine years later.
Protects verbal fluency
The study found no association between baseline levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the men and overall cognitive decline. However, an analysis of specific types of cognitive decline did find that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids were associated with protection against loss of verbal fluency.
This association was particularly strong in men with high blood pressure and dyslipidemia (disruption in the amount of lipids in the blood) but was not evident in men with major depression.
The studies were published in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The authors of an accompanying editorial recommended that clinical trials be conducted to determine the effect of dietary fish, fish oil or both in elderly people at risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. – (HealthDayNews)
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