Omega-3 supplements might not be boosting brain activity after all. A new study suggests that it is but a myth. The findings have been published in the journal JAMA.
Researchers find that omega-3 supplements, and even fish oil, have not been proved to act as protection for the brain; cognitive abilities are not enhanced by either. The said beneficial effects have not been observed.
The omega-3 supplements are themselves different from the nutrients available in nature, fish, and marine algae though they contain high levels of fish oil. They are hailed as being extremely advantageous for cognition.
But, more and more studies seem to point at the absence of such benefits. The new NIH (National Institutes of Health) study revealed that the fatty acids thereof could not decrease cognitive decline, and that the supplements did not show improvement in the health of old people.
The lead researcher of the new study, Emily Chew, explained that they found no benefit on cognition pertaining to the supplements. When they compared the cognitive scores of participants taking fish oil and of the placebo group, no difference was noted.
“Contrary to popular belief, we didn’t see any benefit of omega-3 supplements for stopping cognitive decline,” said Emily Chew.
The cognitive function of the volunteers was tested every two years. After five years, no difference was found in the scores. These results are in contradiction with other studies that suggest that omega-3 could decrease the risk of developing dementia. On the other hand, the new study has not gathered data over a long period of time, and this might be a limitation, as the authors point out; furthermore, the participants might have been too old for the research.