Fish Oil Averts Brain Shrinkage and Cognitive Decline

It's a sad but true fact that doctors will have diagnosed two or three more case of Alzheimer’s disease by the time you've read this post. There is an estimated 44,000,000 people with the condition worldwide, 5m in the USA alone. So far there is no known cure. There are, however, a few things people can do to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. One preventative measure is by taking fish oil supplementation. Studies suggest that FO is especially beneficial for those who are not at a genetic risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

In this video, Doctor Saputo looks at how fish oil may help prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Rhode Island Hospital

Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital conducted a study into the FO benefits with regard to cognitive decline in older adults. Here's how the study looked:

  • Three groups of adults (626 in total) between ages 55-90
  • 229 adults partaking had no signs of the disease
  • 397 were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment
  • Neuropsychological tests and brain MRI was conducted every six months
  • Testing began in 2003, ended in 2010

The Results

The results were promising though there were a few gaps in the research.

  • The adults with no signs of the disease experienced considerably less brain shrinkage and cognitive decline than adults who did not take fish oil supplements.

The Flaw

  • The study failed to specify the quantity of fish oil taken overall. It also failed to report on the percentage of EPA and DHA in the supplements.

The researchers suggest that there are probable benefits for people who start to take FO supplements before or around middle age. They also believe that a quality supplement has the potential to protect against developing Alzheimer’s, even in those with the genetic marker.

More on the Science

You can read a scientific abstract from the study. It explains how the use of FO supplements is associated with concomitant reduction in cognitive decline in older adults. Although research is ongoing, there certainly seems to be a definite link here:

Association of fish oil supplement use with preservation of brain volume and cognitive function

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