Omega 3 Supplements Have No Benefits For Brain, New Study

Posted: Aug 26 2015, 12:53am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Omega 3 Supplements Have No Benefits for Brain, New Study

Researchers have found no significant effect of Omega 3 supplements on cognitive decline

Omega 3 fatty acids have proven health benefits. These fatty acids are abundant in fish’s like tuna, salmon and halibut and their regular consumption is good for the overall health including brain, eye and heart. Many people also use alternative sources like fish oil pills and supplements to fulfill the need of Omega 3 fatty acids. But a new study suggests that omega 3 supplements do not slow down cognitive decline, a condition that is related to brain functioning and memory loss and comes with the age.

“Contrary to popular belief, we don’t see any benefit of omega 3 supplements for stopping cognitive decline.” Emily Chew, the deputy director of the division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications, said in a statement.

For the study, around 4,000 patients were followed up for at least five years, which makes it the largest and the longest study of its kind. It was published in Journal of American Medical Association on Tuesday.

All the participants were at risk for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and were around 72 years of age. They were divided into four groups and various combinations of nutritional supplements were tried on them. One of those group only consumed omega 3 supplements. Participants were given established cognitive function test at the beginning of the study, then after two and four years.

Researchers found that the cognition scores of each group were decreased to similar extent over the years. And there was no statistically significant difference in cognitive function of those who had taken Omega 3 supplements and those who do not. 

Omega 3 supplements are one of the most popular supplements in USA. They are labeled as supporting brain health and their popularity is increasing with every passing year.

Many studies have indicated that regular intake of omega 3 lowers the risk of AMD, heart disease and dementia.

“We’ve seen data that eating foods with omega 3 may have a benefit for eye, brain and heart health.” Dr Chew said. Therefore, researchers were curious to know about their potential benefits. 

“They didn’t make any difference,” said Chew. “They are not harmful but there’s no effect.”

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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