Omega-3 fatty acids may provide a number of health benefits, including improving mood, eye health, and heart health. Two new reviews have found that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may also help improve memory and mild cognitive impairment.
The first review included data from 25 studies, all of which measured the effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on cognitive function in adults without dementia. The studies measured global cognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination and also measured individual areas of cognitive function.
The researchers found that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation did not have an effect on global cognitive function. However, it did provide a slight benefit on memory function.
The second review was conducted by researchers from Shanxi Medical University, and included 7 studies with a total of 434 participants with mild cognitive impairment. Half of the participants received omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and half received a placebo.
The researchers found that omega-3 fatty acid improved cognitive function in people with mild cognitive decline compared to placebo.
The first study was conducted by researchers from the University of Newcastle. It was published on December 16, 2019 in the journal Nutrition Reviews. The second study was published on December 5, 2019 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.