The Common Supplement That Slows Cognitive Decline

The Common Supplement That Slows Cognitive Decline

The supplement improved memory and learning function in comparison to the placebo group.

Taking docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplements may help slow cognitive decline, a study finds.

Taking 900 mg/d of DHA, the main omega-3 fatty acid in the brain, for six months helped study participants maintain their memory and overall cognitive health.

Omega-3 has also been linked to maintaining IQ levels with age and even reducing anxiety.

Other research has suggested that omega-3 needs to be combined with B vitamins to help the body combat mental decline.

Another study has suggested that taking a daily multivitamin slows cognitive decline by 60 percent.

Dr Duffy MacKay, commenting on the study, said:

“The results of this study are very encouraging for those consumers concerned about maintaining memory.We know that lower DHA levels are associated with cognitive decline in healthy elderly and Alzheimer’s patients, and higher DHA levels help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.Memory loss, dementia and the development of Alzheimer’s disease are prominent health concerns for older individuals.The more we learn about the valuable role DHA plays in supporting brain function, the more options aging Americans have towards managing cognitive decline.”

The study included 485 people over 55-years-old who self-reported that they had memory problems.

They were randomly assigned to either take 900 mg/d of DHA for six months or to receive a placebo.

The results showed that the supplement improved memory and learning function in comparison to the placebo group.

Regular intake of DHA

Not all studies on omega-3 and cognitive function, however, have been positive.

For example, one study on people already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s showed no effect of DHA (Quinn et al., 2010).

Dr MacKay thinks this is because DHA needs to be taken regularly before the symptoms of cognitive decline become serious:

The study was published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia (Yurko-Mauro et al., 2010).

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