Posted on Mon, 10 Dec 12
Nutrients in food can have a profound effect on mental function and for the first time a study has shown that omega-3 fatty acids boost working memory, which is critical for reasoning and problem solving.
For the study a group of healthy young adults took omega-3 (DHA 750 mg and EPA 930 mg per day) for 6 months, underwent brain scans, had their blood omega-3 tested and were subject to a working memory task.
Notably before the test began the researches found a correlation between their blood omega-3 and working memory, suggesting their dietary intake was already having an influence. And after taking the omeg-3 supplement their working memory significantly improved.
This finding indicates important benefits of omega-3 for brain function and highlights the significance of healthy eating for better mental health.
As the study investigators point out “previous studies in humans suggest that omega-3 deficiency is associated with impairment in mood and cognitive functioning. Some, but not all studies suggest that the supplementation of omega-3 in several neuropsychiatric disorders such as mood disorders, schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder holds promise as a primary or adjunctive therapy.”
Narendran R, Frankle WG, Mason NS, Muldoon MF, Moghaddam B. Improved working memory but no effect on striatal vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 after omega-3 polyunsaturated Fatty Acid supplementation. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e46832. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046832