With an increasing global demand for omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, there is a necessity for a sustainable source of these important nutrients. Because our bodies don’t naturally make EPA and DHA, we need to eat foods rich in this important nutrient. EPA and DHA omega 3 are widely introduced to the diet through the consumption of fatty fish. Yet, most Indians do not include fatty fish in their diets. While most people believe that fish produce their own EPA and DHA, it’s actually the microalgae in their food chain that makes them a rich source of these important nutrients.
There is a growing awareness that certain aspects of healthy lifestyles may support memory improvement. One of these aspects includes the addition of omega-3 fatty acids to the diet, specifically DHA. DHA omega-3 accounts for 97 percent of the omega-3 fats in the brain. DHA is the major structural and functional omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid in the brain and retina, important throughout every stage life.
A study published in the US Journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia reported that healthy adults ≥ 55 years of age taking 900 mg algal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) a day for six months demonstrated enhanced memory and learning skills compared to those taking a placebo, demonstrating that age related cognitive decline need not be considered an unchangeable consequence of aging.
The published study was a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial evaluating the effects of supplementation on 485 healthy older adults. The subjects were experiencing mild memory complaints and were randomly supplemented with either 900 mg of algal DHA per day or placebo. All subjects were assessed for working memory, memory retention, attention, and executive function in order to determine the potential for algal DHA to affect cognition. After 24 weeks of DHA algal oil supplementation, performance on a memory and learning task was significantly improved in the algal DHA group compared to the group given a placebo.
Algal DHA supplementation resulted in a double reduction in the number of learning and episodic memory errors on a test that measures learning and memory performance. The results indicate that 900 mg/day algal DHA supplementation for 6 months provided a benefit roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger on this episodic memory task. This suggests that algal DHA supplementation may ameliorate early learning and memory deficits associated with cognitive aging.
Based on the findings of this large randomised, placebo-controlled, nutritional clinical study, 900 mg/day of algal DHA helps improve episodic memory and learning in older, healthy adults exhibiting mild memory complaints. This suggests that age related cognitive decline need not be considered an unchangeable consequence of aging.
About the Author:
The author Anthony Martin is associated with Life’sDHA.