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Young Adults Can Improve Working Memory With Omega-3 Supplements

October 25, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Numerous studies have linked omega-3 fatty acids to a variety of health benefits. But a new U.S. clinical study found that 11 healthy young adults (ages 18 to 25) boosted their memory by increasing omega-3 intake. Participants in the study, which was not placebo-controlled, took an omega-3 fish oil supplement (FDA-approved Lovaza) daily for six months after various tests were performed, including brain imaging scans. At six months, participants underwent blood tests and completed working memory tests, including the “n-back test”. The working memory of the participants was shown to be greatly improved over pre-study results. The researchers were disappointed, however, that brain imaging  tests did not reveal the mechanism of enhanced memory.
Rajesh Narendran et al., "Improved Working Memory but No Effect on Striatal Vesicular Monoamine Transporter Type 2 after Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation", PLoS ONE, October 25, 2012, © Narendran et al.
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