Being an essential component involved in
maintaining the healthy functioning of the body, omega-3 fatty acids are now
being consumed worldwide in the form of supplements and medications. An optimum
level of omega-3 fatty acids is thought to boost memory power in young
individuals, according to the research fellows at the University of Pittsburg.
Grass-fed livestock and wild fish are both great sources of omega-3 essential
fatty acids, and consuming these is expected to improve cognitive function
among individuals between the ages 18 and 25 years.
Project investigator and professor of
neuroscience, Bita Moghaddam noted that consuming these foods gives a good
boost to the memory power of the individuals within that particular population,
irrespective of whether they already excel in their fields.
This project, in an attempt to demonstrate the
efficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in boosting memory power, was conducted in a
group of men and women between the ages 18 and 25 years, from different
ethnicities, who were provided regular supplements of omega-3 fatty acids. This
was carried out for a duration of 6 months, where the patients were closely
monitored by means of phone calls or by outpatient procedures.
Prior to the supplementation, the subjects
underwent positron emission tomography (PET) scanning and had their blood
samples analyzed. Following this, a working memory test had to be performed
which included a simple n-back test. Post the 6-month long omega-3
supplementation with a formulation approved by the FDA, the outpatient
procedures were conducted again. The blood samples and the working memory test
finally revealed better cognitive function post supplementation.
The exact mechanism of how omega-3 affects
working memory could not be elucidated through this study. Further studies in
animals could possibly establish the mechanism of the improved working memory
caused by omega-3 fatty acids.