Higher omega-3 levels may help preserve brain volume in older women

USA Today reports that research published in Neurology indicated that “older women with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, had better preservation of their brain as they aged than those with the lowest levels, which might mean they would maintain better brain function for an extra year or two.”

For the study, which received support from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, investigators “looked at the omega-3 fatty acids levels in the red blood cells of 1,111 women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study.”

Bloomberg News reports, “eight years later, MRI scans were taken to measure their brain volume when they were an average age of 78 years.” The investigators “found that those whose omega-3 fatty acid levels were twice as high, 7.5 percent, had 0.7 percent larger brain volume.”

Participants “with the higher levels also had a 2.7 percent larger volume in the hippocampus area of the brain, which plays an important part in memory and can begin to atrophy in Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms even appear.”

Reuters reports, however, that cognitive function was not measured, so it is not clear what impact, if any, these differences had on the risk of dementia.


Here are some more of my blogs on this topic:


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