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Fish oil supplementation supports mood and brain function in the elderly. Sinn et al, Br J Nutr. Sep 20:1-12. [Epub ahead of print], 2011.

Paper

 

Fish oil supplementation supports mood and brain function in the elderly. Sinn et al, Br J Nutr. Sep 20:1-12. [Epub ahead of print], 2011.

Details

There has been a lot of research into the potential benefits of fish oils for depression and also for dementia. For older people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI – often a forerunner to dementia), those with depression are at increased risk of developing dementia. In this latest study conducted in Australia, 50 elderly people with MCI were given one of three supplements for 6 months: an EPA rich omega-3 fish oil, a DHA rich omega-3 fish oil or an omega-6 vegetable oil. They were assessed at the start and at the end of the study period for mood on the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Improvements were seen in those taking the omega-3 supplement (both the EPA and the DHA rich oil), but not the omega-6 oil. Verbal fluency and self-reported physical health also improved in those on the DHA. Larger studies are needed, but this research adds to the body of evidence supporting the use of omega-3 fish oil (and oily fish by extension) to support mood and cognitive function in the elderly. Sinn N, Milte CM, Street SJ, Buckley JD, Coates AM, Petkov J, Howe PR (2011) Effects of n-3 fatty acids, EPA v. DHA, on depressive symptoms, quality of life, memory and executive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. Sep 20:1-12. [Epub ahead of print]

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