Effects of supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on cognitive performance and cardiometabolic risk markers in healthy 51 to 72 years old subjects: a randomized controlled cross-over study

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Abstract

Background: Higher plasma n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have been associated with a lower risk of age related cognitive decline, and to beneficially affect cardiometabolic risk factors. A relation exists between metabolic disorders such as diabetes type 2 and cognitive decline. Results regarding the potential effects of n-3 PUFA on risk factors in healthy subjects are divergent, and studies regarding the possible relation between cardiometabolic parameters and cognitive performance are scarce. The objective was to evaluate the effects of five weeks intake of long chain n-3 PUFA on cognitive performance in healthy individuals, and to exploit the possible relation between outcomes in cognitive tests to cardiometabolic risk parameters. Methods: Fish oil n-3 PUFA (3g daily) were consumed during 5weeks separated by a 5 week washout period in a cross-over placebo controlled study, including 40 healthy middle aged to elderly subjects. Cognitive performance was determined by tests measuring working memory (WM) and selective attention. Results: Supplementation with n-3 PUFA resulted in better performance in the WM-test compared with placebo (p < 0.05). In contrast to placebo, n-3 PUFA lowered plasma triacylglycerides (P < 0.05) and systolic blood pressure (p < 0.0001). Systolic blood pressure (p < 0.05), f-glucose (p = 0.05), and s-TNF-alpha (p = 0.05), were inversely related to the performance in cognitive tests. Conclusions: Intake of n-3 PUFA improved cognitive performance in healthy subjects after five weeks compared with placebo. In addition, inverse relations were obtained between cardiometabolic risk factors and cognitive performance, indicating a potential of dietary prevention strategies to delay onset of metabolic disorders and associated cognitive decline.

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Authors
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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Keywords

  • Omega-3 PUFA, DHA, EPA, Fish oil, Dietary prevention, Cognitive, performance, Working memory, Metabolic disorders, Ageing
Original languageEnglish
Article number99
JournalNutrition Journal
Volume11
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry (011001300), Department of Psychology (012010000)

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