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Omega-3s Linked to Reduction in Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors and Cognitive Decline

A new study has found a link between metabolic syndrome and cognitive decline. It also found that omega-3 fatty acids may help improve two metabolic syndrome risk factors, plasma triglycerides and systolic blood pressure, as well as cognitive decline.

The study included 40 healthy adults between the ages of 51 and 72. Over the course of five weeks, half of the group took a supplement of 600 mg of omega-3s containing 300 mg of EPA, 210 mg of DHA. The other half took a placebo.

The five week supplementation period was followed by a five week washout period, after which the groups switched interventions.

During the period the participants took the omega-3s, they performed better on working memory and selective attention tests. In addition, participants had lower triglyceride levels and lower systolic blood pressure.

The researchers found that improvement in cardiometabolic risk factors was accompanied by improvement in cognitive performance. They suggest omega’s may act to delay the onset of metabolic syndrome and associated cognitive decline.

The study was conducted by researchers at Lund University in Sweden. It was published online ahead of print on November 22, 2012, in Nutrition Journal.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s, while ALA omega-3 fatty-acids are plant derived and can be found in flaxseed oil, vegetable oil, and walnuts.

If you don’t like fish or you’re worried about the high mercury levels found in some fish, consider taking a daily high quality supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.

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