Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Specifically, DHA) Improve Working Memory
It's no secret that omega-3s support our heart health, brain function, and efforts to live a long, healthy life. Knowing how hard it is to get adequate omega-3s from diet alone (i.e., from fatty fish, sea vegetables, and other omega-3-rich foods), and how far-ranging the benefits of omega-3s are, many Americans take a daily omega-3 supplement.
But there's one overlooked factor in omega-3 dosing: age. According to a 2016 study, women over 50 might want to consider upping their dose even more to promote cognitive vitality as they age. Are you certain you're getting enough omega-3 fatty acids (and their benefits) from your current fish oil supplement? Read on to find out.
How omega-3s bolster cognitive function
In the double-blind, placebo-controlled study, cognitively healthy women between the ages of 50 and 75 that took a high-potency dose (2.2 grams) of long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (i.e., EPA and DHA) in supplement form for 26 weeks demonstrated increased omega-3 index levels (i.e., the biomarker for omega-3 status in your body) and significantly enhanced memory recall compared to the control group.*
In other words, taking a high-potency supplement with marine omega-3s EPA and DHA can help maintain cognitive function and support memory as we age.* According to a recent Cureus review, these brain-critical nutrients support other aspects of cognition as well—including learning, cerebral blood flow, and even mood support.*
And if overall cognitive well-being and brain longevity aren't enough to convince you to add a fish oil supplement to your wellness regimen, we're happy to report that omega-3 fatty acids can help you age gracefully in other ways, too.
How omega-3s support longevity
Simply put, a high-quality fish oil supplement is a no-brainer (pun intended!). That said, not all omega-3 supplements are created equal—look for a sustainably sourced fish oil with a clinically meaningful dose of marine omega-3s (like mindbodygreen's omega-3 potency+, which serves up an impressive 1.5 grams—i.e., 1,500 milligrams—of EPA and DHA per serving) to reap the myriad longevity benefits these healthy fats have to offer.*
High-potency omega-3 supplementation can help women over 50 maintain cognitive function, enhance memory recall, and support overall brain longevity.* What's more, omega-3s have been shown to help bolster other facets of health as we age (e.g., vision, joint mobility, heart health, antioxidant status).*
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.