Health Team

Study: Omega-3 supplements don't benefit cognitive function

Posted June 14, 2012

Thousands of people hoping to stay sharp as they age take Omega-3 fish oil supplements based on information from past studies, but new research is casting doubt on those claims. 

A review of past studies found that older people who took Omega-3 supplements did not score any better on thinking and memory tests than participants who took a placebo. 

Fish oil omega 3 Study finds no link between fish oil, memory

"This is a great shame," said Dr. Alan Dangour, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. "It would be lovely to find a solution for cognitive decline and dementia, and unfortunately, the evidence as it stands says it does not benefit cognitive function in older people."

Other experts are standing by previous claims, saying the recent study wasn't long enough and that subjects in the study weren't old enough. 

"Those were young patients by any standards," said Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein, the director of geriatric education at North Shore-LIJ Health System. "They were in the 60s or early 70s. Today that's middle age."

Until more research is completed, it will be up to each individual to decide whether Omega-3 supplements, which include fatty acids that are an important part of a healthy diet, are worth taking. 

Dorene Lebowitz, who has taken supplements for 10 years hoping to keep her mind sharp, said she's not giving them up. 

"I've heard and read more positive things about it, so I would continue it," she said. "It doesn't seem to have anything that could be harmful."

For people who do decide to stop taking the supplements, doctors still recommend eating two servings of fish a week. Mackerel, tuna, sardines, herring and trout are all fish that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.


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  • dollibug Jun 20, 2012

    This is like the entire government....the RIGHT HAND DOES NOT KNOW WHAT THE LEFT HAND IS DOING....CLUELESS on everything....and we, the people, wonder why our country is in SUCH A MESS......REALLY??????????????????? There is NO ONE who reviews what is being done....too many people are not held accountable and responsible for what they are *suppose to do*....

  • chrisdebra2 Jun 20, 2012

    rockman55 for President!!

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 19, 2012

    What's peculiar is when Europeans come to visit the US, they don't want to eat our food unless it's at a health food restaurant, and even then, they are careful. They've heard of our food sanitary and processing practices, and in many cases, what we eat here, they feed to their animals in Europe, only saving the best for themselves.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 19, 2012

    rockman55 - LIKE

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 19, 2012

    Interesting! But I thought Omega3 was supposedly for heart health.

  • Sarge Jun 19, 2012

    rockman55 gets my vote too!

  • smegma Jun 18, 2012

    haha, you mean to tell me the thing you said was good is no longer good? and you wonder why we don't believe anything the gov says

  • CestLaVie Jun 15, 2012

    P. S. Yes, omega 3s are important. I get mine from ground flaxseed, which I put in oatmeal and/or smoothies. The oatmeal is the regular, whole version & not the "quick" type (less fiber, not to mention processed). The smoothies include tons of kale or spinach, cukes, celery, berries, banana, flaxseed & stevia for a little sweetening.

  • CestLaVie Jun 15, 2012

    I too wholeheartedly agree, rockman55.

    Between the food, medical & pharma industries in this country, most people are sick, sick, sick & actually wonder why. Millions of people just don't get it or even consider what's happening to them. It's profits at all costs. The brainwash has been ongoing for a long time now. "Oh, but I love my doctor" or "I trust my doctor". Hogwash. Did you know pharma funds med schools?

    There IS a cure for cancer, heart disease, diabetes. The cure is food. Let food be your medicine. Good, whole, pure food...veggies, fruits, beans, seeds, nuts. Cut the processed junk & sugar. It's all addictive. Really. Additives are put in processed junk to make you want more. Cut the meat & poultry - laced w/ pesticides, growth hormones, herbicides. Eat fish? Yikes. From ALL the polluted waters where we've dumped our garbage & toxic waste for decades now??

    freedom monkey: Sorry, but the Amer Cancer Society & Komen Fdtn are the biggest ripoffs.

  • freedom monkey Jun 15, 2012

    Spot on "Rockman55." Also, I've noticed when they do a study they would just give one supplement. Well, there are 90 essential nutrients and minerals that combing together for optimal cell generation. Just giving one person a bunch of EFA's without the rest of the necessary nutrient vitamins and minerals will show insignificant results. It's like a baking a cake, if you miss one ingredient or not enough or too much, the cake is not going to the best it can be. It's all propaganda to support the allopathic medical system making billions off the poisons, I mean pharmaceuticals, they so love to push on us. The AMA (American Medical Association) stated smoking was not harmful for 30 years and even had doctors on TV (brainwashing tube) promoting non-filter Camel smokes. Biggest "CON" artist off all time. I'll stick to my nutritional supplements and healthy food choices!