Fish oil supplements may not improve memory

For brain health, it’s better to eat a nutritious diet and be physically active than to take omega-3 fatty acid supplements or fish oil pills, Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a recent TIME magazine article.

Hu was commenting on a National Eye Institute study published August 25, 2015 in JAMA that showed little benefit of omega-3 supplements on memory in a group of 3,073 elderly people at risk of macular degeneration, an age-related cause of vision loss. The participants were randomly assigned to take omega-3 pills or a placebo for five years.

“Supplements cannot replace a healthy dietary pattern,” says Hu, who was not involved in the study. “If you eat a healthy diet with high amounts of fruits, vegetables and marine fish, you probably don’t need to take fish oil supplements. The overall dietary pattern is more important than a single nutrient.”

Read more about omega-3s in the Time article: Omega-3 Supplements Don’t Improve Memory: Study

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