Omega-3 Fatty Acid Helps Prevent Memory Decline, Maintain Brain Health

by Medindia Content Team on  December 14, 2007 at 4:55 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Helps Prevent Memory Decline, Maintain Brain Health
Nutrition 21's Core4Life Advanced Memory Formula, a blend of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, chromium picolinate and phosphatidylserine (PS), can improve memory and maintain brain health, a new study has revealed.

The result has come from a clinical study that showed daily supplementation with 1000 mcg of chromium as chromium picolinate improved cognitive function in older adults experiencing early memory decline.

Aging decreases blood circulation and nutrient flow to the brain, which can affect cognition. Previous studies have revealed that chromium picolinate improves insulin sensitivity, which allows glucose, the brain's main 'fuel', to be processed more efficiently.

"Impaired glucose metabolism and insulin resistance have been linked to age-related cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer's disease. These findings suggest that improving glucose metabolism with chromium picolinate supplementation may enhance cognition," said Robert Krikorian, Ph.D., lead investigator and associate professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

"These results are encouraging and indicate that further study of this intervention is warranted. Ultimately, we may find that chromium supplementation offers benefit to patients, given the prevalence of metabolic disorders and associated cognitive decline in the aging population," Krikorian added.

In this study, researchers used Nutrition 21's proprietary chromium picolinate found in Core4Life Advanced Memory Formula, a nutritional supplement specifically formulated to improve brain health.

Core4Life Advanced Memory Formula's combination plays an important role in helping improve memory and maintain brain health. PS and DHA are major components of healthy brain cell membranes and increase communication between brain cells while chromium picolinate increases glucose metabolism.

"The results of this clinical study support emerging research that shows chromium has direct effects on cognitive function. PS and DHA already have established associations with improved cognitive function and we are pleased to see the current findings substantiate the inclusion of chromium picolinate as a key ingredient in Core4Life Advanced Memory Formula," said James Komorowski, M.S., Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Nutrition 21.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study measured whether supplementation with chromium picolinate over a 12-week period might improve cognitive function in 21 adults aged 65 years and older with early memory decline. Study participants were asked to learn a list of words presented over several learning trials and, after a delay, were asked to remember the words.

It was found that those receiving the chromium picolinate supplement showed a trend for reduced interference from irrelevant words on the memory task (p = 0.12). In addition, on another task assessing fine motor control and speed, the subjects receiving chromium picolinate exhibited enhanced motor speed relative to those receiving placebo (p = 0.16).

Another component of the study measured brain activity. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans were performed while subjects were working on a demanding cognitive task that involved holding in mind and manipulating information.

Preliminary results from the fMRI scans of individuals from the chromium picolinate group and from the placebo group showed that the subjects receiving the active supplement exhibited greater activity in left frontal and left parietal cortices, areas of the brain associated with working memory. The subjects receiving placebo showed no such change.

At the completion of the study, chromium to creatinine ratios were significantly elevated in the chromium picolinate group (p = .008) indicating increased levels of chromium in the blood. The groups did not differ significantly with respect to age (73 versus 69 years), educational level (15.7 versus 15 years), stage and extent of memory impairment (Clinical Dementia Rating sum boxes score, 1.0 versus 0.85) or level of mood disturbance (Profile of Mood States total score, 18.4 versus 16.9).

The results were presented to the medical community at a neurological meeting.

Source: ANI

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