Large Study: DHA Boosts Brain Health in Elderly

September 20, 2010

Alzheimer...s & Dementia, the official journal of the Alzheimer...s Association, has published the results of the first large-scale study to be conducted exclusively on docasahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid. The Memory Improvement with Docasahexaenoic Acid Study (MIDAS) evaluated the effects of algal DHA on elderly individuals with 'age-related cognitive decline,' and found that those supplementing with DHA showed a benefit 'roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger.'

Alzheimer...s & Dementia, the official journal of the Alzheimer...s Association, has published the results of the first large-scale study to be conducted exclusively on docasahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid.

The Memory Improvement with Docasahexaenoic Acid Study (MIDAS) evaluated the effects of algal DHA on elderly individuals with 'age-related cognitive decline,' and found that those supplementing with DHA showed a benefit 'roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger.'

For six months, 485 individuals, ages 55 and older, were given 900 mg of algal DHA or placebo. All patients were considered to have age-related cognitive decline, characterized by mild memory complaints such as trouble remembering names or appointments. Visual memory and new learning tests were provided using a tool known as the CANTAB PAL (Paired Associate Learning), and DHA subjects demonstrated 'almost double the reduction in errors' compared to placebo subjects.

"Up to one-third of the more than 75 million baby boomers in the U.S. will experience a gradual decline in cognitive function as they age," said Dr. Edward B. Nelson, co-author of the study. "MIDAS is significant because it shows for the first time that taking 900 mg of algal DHA daily may have a very meaningful and important impact on cognitive function in the aging population."

The MIDAS study was funded by Martek Biosciences (Columbia, MD), the supplier of life...sDHA brand DHA. To read the study abstract, click here.

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