Findings of a newly published study are suggesting that taking omega 3 supplements or fish oil tablets doesn’t protect older people against cognitive decline.
Since years, we have seen observation studies suggesting that individuals consuming omega-3 in high quantity in form of supplements or as food items score better in memory tests and other brain function tests. However, a new US research published in the widely read medical journal JAMA is suggesting that these supplements don’t possess the ability to prevent memory loss and mental decline in older people.
The study’s lead author Emily Chew said that proving the popular belief wrong, the study conducted by her and her team failed to find any benefit of omega 3 supplements for preventing cognitive decline.
The study had more than 3000 elderly people as participants. The average age of these individuals was 72 years. The participants were divided into two groups; researcher gave fish oil tablets to people in the first group and placed the ones in the second group on a placebo.
The cognitive functions of these elderly individuals were tested once in every two years. Even after sticking to the routine for five years, no difference was observed in the cognitive performance of participants taking fish oil tablets compared to those on placebo.
The findings of this new study, however, contradict the epidemiological evidence showing that people taking antioxidants and omega 3 supplements are at lower risk of suffering from dementia.
According to Chew and her team, the study conducted by them might not be long enough for measuring the effects of omega 3 supplements or they might have carried out the study on individuals who were too aged to experience any effect.
Chew, who adorns the post of the deputy clinical director at the National Eye Institute, stated that cognitive decline often occurs gradually over decades, which means short-term supplementations taken long after getting the disease might not show desired results. The National Eye Institute is a part of the National Institutes of Health, the organization funding the study.
An earlier review on fish oil supplements’ ability to prevent dementia found that the claim lacks direct evidence. However, scientists said that further studies must be conducted for determining whether these supplements can be effective in the long term.