There has been a lot of interest in omega-3s as a way to prevent or delay cognitive decline, but unfortunately our study did not find a protective effect in older women. In addition, most randomized trials of omega-3 supplements have not found an effect, suggests Eric Ammann, MS, of the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish such as salmon and in nuts, was earlier, linked to improving thinking skills.
2,157 women age 65 to 80 were enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative clinical trials of hormone therapy. They were given annual tests of thinking and memory skills for an average of six years. Blood tests were taken to measure the amount of omega-3s in the participants' blood before the start of the study.
The researchers didn’t find difference between the women with high and low levels of omega-3s in the blood at the time of the first memory tests. There was also no difference between the two groups in how fast their thinking skills declined over time.
The study appeared in the latest issue of the journal Neurology.
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