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Thursday 27th October 2016

Fish-oil supplements no good against dementia

13th June 2012

Researchers have suggested that taking fish-oil supplements to ward off dementia could be a waste of time.

omega-3 2

After reviewing the best available evidence, the Cochrane Review team found that supplements containing omega-3 offered no greater protection than placebos.

Some 3,500 individuals were tracked over three-and-a-half years for the work, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal which looked at randomised controlled trials and also considered if taking omega-3 in capsules or margarine spread made a difference.

Co-author Dr Alan Dangour, a nutritionist from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “From these studies, there doesn't appear to be any benefit for cognitive health for older people of taking omega-3 supplements.”

However, while suggesting current evidence was disappointing, he posed the question of what the results would be if a longer study was conducted.

“Fish is an important part of a healthy diet and we would still support the recommendation to eat two portions a week, including one portion of oily fish,” he added.

Dr Marie Janson of Alzheimer's Research UK said: “While taking omega-3 supplements may not be the key to staving off cognitive problems, eating a healthy balanced diet, including fish and other natural sources of omega-3, is important for maintaining good health.

“We know that what is good for the heart can be good for the head so maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising and keeping our blood pressure in check are all ways that we could reduce our risk of cognitive decline and dementia later in life.”


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