Researchers from Tianjin Medical University, in China, have discovered that regularly taking docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improves brain function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. A total of 219 adults over the age of 65 participated in the randomized, double-blind, 12-month trial. Half of the subjects were given two grams of this omega-3 fatty acid daily, while the others received a placebo.
The researchers measured cognitive function, including a full-scale intelligence quotient (IQ) test and two IQ subtests which serve as indicators of both short and long-term memory. The tests were administered after six months and again after 12 months. The DHA group showed a 10 percent higher IQ than the placebo group. There were also significant increases in both IQ subtests and brain hippocampus volume in the DHA group. Decreased hippocampus volume is a primary indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.