Citation Jackson PA, Forster JS, Bell JG, Dick JR, Younger I & Kennedy DO (2016) DHA Supplementation Alone or in Combination with Other Nutrients Does not Modulate Cerebral Hemodynamics or Cognitive Function in Healthy Older Adults. Nutrients, 8 (2), Art. No.: 86. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020086
Abstract A number of recent trials have demonstrated positive effects of dietary supplementation with the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on measures of cognitive function in healthy young and older adults. One potential mechanism by which EPA, and DHA in particular, may exert these effects is via modulation of cerebral hemodynamics. In order to investigate the effects of DHA alone or provided as one component of a multinutrient supplement (also including Gingko biloba, phosphatidylserine and vitamins B9 and B12) on measures of cerebral hemodynamics and cognitive function, 86 healthy older adults aged 50–70 years who reported subjective memory deficits were recruited to take part in a six month daily dietary supplementation trial. Relative changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin and deoxygenated hemoglobin were assessed using Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) during the performance of cognitive tasks prior to and following the intervention period. Performance on the cognitive tasks was also assessed. No effect of either active treatment was found for any of the NIRS measures or on the cognitive performance tasks, although the study was limited by a number of factors. Further work should continue to evaluate more holistic approaches to cognitive aging.