Natural Health News — Teenagers with higher blood levels of omega-3s may process information faster, compared with those with lower levels, according to a new study.
The Dutch researchers used what they called an Omega-3 Index – an indication of the fatty acid status of a person – to determine possible benefits.
Writing in in the journal Nutrients the scientists say: “To our knowledge, this is the first study assessing the association between the Omega-3 Index measured in blood and cognition in typically developing adolescents from the general population.”
Brain effects of low omega-3 status
Participants in the study included 266 Dutch teens between the ages of 13 and 15 who were taken from a larger, ongoing study (Food2Learn) of krill oil supplementation. The researchers took blood samples from all of the teens and also assessed cognitive performance via a range of tests.
» Diet and nutrition can have a profound effect on cognitive development and performance.
» In a new study of adolescents aged 13-15, Dutch researchers found that many had a below optimum omega-3 status and that those with a higher omega-3 status performed better on tests designed to study memory and information processing.
» The authors suggest that for adolescents low in omega-3, supplementation may be an easy and relatively inexpensive way to improve school performance.
The participants also filled out a fish consumption questionnaire, which showed that 13.9% of the teens did not consume any fish at all and that 77% of them consumed fish rarely. As a result, the average Omega-3 Index was 3.83% – much lower than the recommended 8%-11%.
Results showed that every 1% increase on the Omega-3 Index was linked to a significant increase in performance on a standardised memory test and better performance on a test of focus and attention.
Could supplementation help?
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