Researchers at the National University Hospital, in Singapore, studied the association between taking long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements and cognitive decline in an older Chinese.

First, the details.

  • 1,475 Chinese adults took omega-3 PUFA supplements.
  • Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was administered at the start of the study and about 1.5 years later.
  • Cognitive decline was defined as at least a 2-point drop in MMSE score.

And, the results.

  • Daily omega-3 supplement intake was significantly associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline after controlling for potential confounding factors.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded that taking omega-3 supplements daily; “was independently associated with less cognitive decline in elderly Chinese.”

In another, just published study, researchers at University of California San Diego, reported that in 266 participants, DHA appeared to protect against dementia. And increasing DHA intake from marine sources may be recommended for reducing dementia risk.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, reviewed all the evidence on this topic and concluded, “Increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids, including marine long-chain omega-3 and DHA in particular, appears to offer some protection against unhealthy brain aging that leads to dementia.”

They continue, “Results from 6 small clinical trials suggest possible protective effects in the earliest stages of cognitive impairment, but not in subjects with established Alzheimer’s disease.”

What’s next?

We can expect larger studies, which focus on early treatment.

1/27/11 21:22 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.