Study shows Omega-3 fatty acids increase brain capacity
UCLA researchers have recently conducted a study on the correlation between Omega-3 fatty acid levels in the diet and brain capacity.
The research, published in the February 28, 2012 issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, studied 1,575 dementia-free participants, with an average age of 67. They underwent a variety of tests including MRI scans, tests measuring mental function, body mass and omega-3 fatty acid levels in red blood cells.
Omega-3 fatty acid, commonly found in fish, contains the nutrients docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
The UCLA researchers found that those whose DHA levels were amongst the lower 25 percent of participants had lower brain volumes than those individuals with higher DHA levels. Similarly, participants whose levels of all omega-3 fatty acids in the bottom 25 percent also scored lower on tests of visual memory and executive function, including problem-solving, multi-tasking and abstract thinking.
The findings indicated that the individuals with lower levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet have lower brain capacities equivalent to approximately two years of structural brain ageing.