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Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and cognitive function: are smaller dosages more beneficial?

Authors Abubakari A, Naderali M, Naderali E

Received 30 April 2014

Accepted for publication 5 June 2014

Published 19 September 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 463—473


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Abdul-Razak Abubakari,1 Mohammad-Mahdi Naderali,2 Ebrahim K Naderali3

1School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, London, UK; 2Blue Coat School, Liverpool, UK; 3School of Health Sciences, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park Campus, Liverpool, UK

Abstract: As longevity increases, so does the global prevalence of cognitive dysfunction. Numerous lifestyle and/or dietary interventions such as omega-3 fatty acids have been suggested to improve memory. Therefore, this study examined the consistency and strength of the impact of supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids on overall cognitive function using systematic reviews and meta-analytic methods. Of 905 studies retrieved from all searches, 12 randomized controlled trials were included in the meta-analysis. There were differences between studies reporting outcomes for single memory function parameters. Subgroup analysis of doses used (low versus high) indicated that subjects receiving low (<1.73 g/day) doses of omega-3 fatty acids had a significant reduction in cognitive decline rate (-0.07, 95% confidence interval -0.01, -0.02) but there was no evidence for beneficial effects at higher doses (+0.04, 95% confidence interval -0.06, +0.14) compared with the placebo group. This study suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in preventing memory decline at lower doses.

Keywords: cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, dietary fatty acids, omega-3, docosahexaenoic acid

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