Does Omega-3 Really Help in Slowing Down Cognitive Decline and Overall Mental Health?


In every aspect of life, there are always two sides  that oppose each other. There are always two sides of  a coin, Yin and Yang, North And South, positive and negative and there will always be two teams that will differ in opinions, beliefs and facts based on their studies. Every opposing opinion or belief will be dissected, scrutinized and loopholes will be presented to downplay the other. Doing this will have its good and bad points depending on the fact, opinion or study that is presented in the table.

The Merits Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Let’s focus on the much debated merit of omega-3 fatty acids. There have been many studies and research made to find and present the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in the human body. A number  of scientists, experts and physicians have studied and claimed the advantages of the essential fat in maintaining overall health that includes the cardiovascular, muscle, skeletal and nervous system. These people also pointed out that it also helps in minimizing the chances of a person to develop chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer. They also claim that omega-3 fatty acids help in preventing or alleviating the symptoms of mental issues such as depression, ADHD, bipolar disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They also pointed out that omega-3 helps in enhancing the learning abilities of school children and enhances their memory and brain development.

Researchers at the University of Oxford have found that a kid’s blood level of long chain omega-3 fatty acid PUF DHA will considerably facilitate in enhancing learning capabilities, memory and behavior of school children. The study was printed in the journal “PLOS One”.  The analysis was one amongst the first to gauge levels of omega-3 fatty acid levels at school kids. Employing a sample cluster of five hundred school children, the researchers found that the degree of omega-3 fatty acid fatty acids within the blood cells considerably affected a child’s brain power and behavior as expressed by Dr. Paul Montgomery, Ph.D, from Oxford University’s Center for Evidence-Based Intervention in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention. They discovered that higher levels  of omega-3s within the blood, specifically DHA, were connected to improved reading and improved memory, likewise as fewer behavior problems as tested by teachers, academics and also the children’s parents.

Another study was created concerning the consequences of omega-3 fatty acid with kids affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A study found that prime levels of DHA and EPA within the blood will facilitate improved behavior in kids specifically children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Lowering the quantitative relation of polyunsaturated fatty acid and increasing omega-3 fatty acid fatty acids were additionally connected to a similar measure in children as reported  by the researchers that was printed in Journal of Attention Disorders. The school kids were at random picked to get fish oil rich in DHA and EPA or herbaceous plant oil to control for four months. Whereas there have been no direct enhancements between on psychological feature and attainment, they expressed that there was an impact of upper red somatic cell levels of omega-3 fatty acid. Increasing the fat DHA and EPA and lowering omega-6 could improve the eye, behavior and attainment with children affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as expressed by lead researcher Dr. Natalie Parletta, PhD and  senior analysis fellow at the Sansom Institute for  Health Research at the University of Australia.

The Rebuttal

One study made by researchers from the University of Iowa claimed that omega-3 has have suggested otherwise. Their study was published in the journal “Neurology” which involved 2,157 women aging between 65 to 80 years old. The test subjects were enrolled in the Woman’s Health Initiative clinical tests and trial for hormone therapy. The team acquired blood samples from the test subjects at the beginning of the study to measure the levels of omega-3 in their blood. The test subjects were asked to to thinking and memory  skills test every year for 6 years. The study found that there was no difference between the results of women with high levels of omega-3 in their blood when the  first memory tests were made as compared to women with low levels of omega-3 in their blood. Lead researcher Dr. Eric Ammann, Ph.D of the University of Iowa, College of Public Health stated that most randomized Titos’ in omega-3 supplements have not found an effect in cognitive enhancement or function. He also pointed out that taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements do not have any advantages for healthy older persons in fending off cognitive decline. Dr. Ammann also stated that the studies on other interventions in delaying cognitive decline need further research. Regular physical activities, exercise, eating healthy, maintaining a healthy body weight, cholesterol and blood pressure can help. He also said that regular use of the cognitive skills and having a good and supportive social network can delay cognitive decline.

There might still be varied opinions with regards to the benefits of omega-3 to cognitive decline but omega-3 surely holds promising mental health benefits.