from Tufts University Health & Nutrition Update   March 9, 2012    Study conducted by UCLA     Published in Neurology

Previous results from studies of Omega-3s and the brain have been inconsistent, probably because they’ve relied on subjects’ remembering and self-reporting on food-frequency questionnaires what they ate and when.

Hoping to eliminate the inconsistency, UCLA researchers took blood samples from 1,575 participants in the long-running Framingham Offspring cohort to measure levels of the key omega-3s found in fish.

Then they compared these measurements to performance on cognitive tests and MRI scans of the brain.  Subjects with the lowest omega-3 levels scored significantly lower on tests of visual memory, executive function and abstract thinking than those subjects who’d measured in the top 75% of omega-3s.

Additionally, the brains of those with lower blood levels of omega-3s were smaller in volume, representing about 2 years of structural brain aging.

While pointing out that the study was only a snapshot that didn’t track participants’ brains over time, researchers concluded, “We feel that omega-3s reduce vascular pathology and thus reduce the rate of brain aging.”


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