Sunday, December 9, 2012

Omega-3 and Working Memory

Are you concerned about your working memory? Studies in rodents have shown that diets deficient in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n–3 PUFA) lower dopamine neurotransmission. This suggested that dietary supplementation with fish oil might enhance dopamine storage and release, and improve dopamine-dependent cognitive functions such as working memory. Researchers at the University of Pittsburg did a 6-month study of healthy young adults ages 18–25 to determine if they could improve their working memory by increasing their Omega-3 fatty acid intake. All participants took a baseline working memory test (e.g., they were shown a series of letters and numbers and had to keep track of what appeared one, two, and three times prior, known as a simple “n-back test”). After taking Lovaza for six months, an Omega-3 supplement approved by the FDA (and similar to over-the-counter fish oil supplements) the participants repeated the test. Results showed improved working memory.

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