Older people who take omega-3 fish oil supplements are probably not reducing their chances of losing cognitive function, according to a Cochrane systematic review.
Based on the available data from studies lasting up to 3.5 years, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine concluded the supplements offered no benefits for cognitive health over placebo capsules or margarines.
A total of 3,536 people over the age of 60 took part in the trials, which lasted between six and 40 months.
“From these studies, there doesn’t appear to be any benefit for cognitive health for older people of taking omega-3 supplements,” said Alan Dangour, a nutritionist at LSHTM and co-author of the report.
“However, these were relatively short-term studies, so we saw very little deterioration in cognitive function in either the intervention groups or the control groups. It may take much longer to see any effect of these supplements.”
The review is published in the latest issue of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.