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Omega-3's Plus Antioxidants May Help Improve Memory

A new study has found that supplementation with a combination of omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids, and vitamin E may help improve memory in mature adults.

Sixty cognitively healthy adults over the age of 65 participated in the study. Half were given a supplement containing 1 gram of fish oil, 10 mg of lutein, 10 mg of meso-zeaxanthin, 2 mg of zeaxanthin, and 15 mg of vitamin E daily for 24 months. The other half were given a placebo.

The researchers assessed cognitive function at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months. Cognitive function was assessed via the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neurophysiological State and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. They also measured levels of omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids, and vitamin E.

At the end of the study period, participants in the supplement group saw a 26% decrease in errors in working memory tasks compared to a 14% increase in the placebo group. They also had significant increases in levels of omega-3 fatty acids and carotenoids.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Waterford Institute of Technology. It was published online ahead of print on December 6, 2021 in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

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