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Omega-3 fatty acids protect memory, improve brain structure and cognition – healing practice



Do not neglect the intake of omega-3 fatty acids

When middle-aged people omega-3 fatty acids eating, it improves brain structure and the cognitive functions. These healthy fatty acids are found in greater amounts in fish, for example, and adjusting your diet accordingly could help protect against memory loss and improve your mental fitness.

In a new study involving experts from Boston University School of Medicine were possible links between Concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells and markers of brain aging examined. The results were published in the journal “Neurology“published.

Omega-3 index calculated from 2,183 people

The research was based on 2,183 attendees the said Framingham Heart Study. The researchers determined the concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) they contain. The omega-3 index was then calculated based on docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid.

The brain and cognition were examined

Next, the team used so-called linear regression models to Concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids with measures of Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and cognitive functions. Possible confounding factors were also taken into account.

the Brain MRI measurements measured the volume of whole brain, total gray matter, hippocampus and white matter. the examined cognitive functions included episodic memory, processing speed, executive function and abstract thinking, experts report

Role of the APOE genotype analyzed

In addition, the team also looked at possible interactions between omega-3 fatty acid levels and people with APOE genotype (people with e4 and people without) which influenced the results of MRI measurements and cognitive examination.

Larger seahorse and improved abstract thinking

The researchers found that a higher omega-3 index with a larger volume of hippocampus was connected. High levels of omega-3 fatty acids also improved this abstract thinking. Similar results were observed when analyzing the effects of individual concentrations of DHA or EPA.

Stratification by APOE-e4 status revealed an association between higher DHA concentrations or an omega-3 index and larger hippocampal volumes in people who did not wear APOE-e4, the team reports. In contrast, higher concentrations of EPA with a best abstract thinking associated in participants who exhibited APOE-e4.

According to experts, people with APOE-e4 also had high levels of all omega-3 predictors with a decrease in white matter hyperintensity bound together.

Better brain structure thanks to omega-3 fatty acids

The results of the study indicate that higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids with a better brain structure and cognitive function are connected, especially in people Middle Ageswho do not have dementia.

These associations differed between APOE genotypewhat about potentially different metabolic models according to APOE status, the researchers explain.

Diet affects brain health

The study shows that diet is an important factor in brain health in middle age. This is especially true for omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with better neurological outcomes in older adults.

It therefore makes sense to include more omega-3-containing foods in the diet in middle age. Above all oily fish is for example for his high in omega-3 fatty acids known, but other foods like nuts and flaxseeds are also good sources of omega-3s. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


  • Claudia L Satizabal, Jayandra Jung Himali, Alexa S Beiser, Vasan Ramachandran, Debora Melo van Lent et al. : Association of Red Blood Cell Omega-3 Fatty Acids with MRI Markers and Cognitive Function in Midlife: The Framingham Heart Study; in: Neurology (published on 05.10.2022), Neurology

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.

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