Food and Behaviour Research

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Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements and cognitive decline: Singapore Longitudinal Aging Studies

Gao Q, Niti M, Feng L, Yap KB, Ng TP. (2011) J Nutr Health Aging.  15(1): 32-5. 

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here


OBJECTIVE: To determine the association between long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) supplements intake and cognitive decline in an older Chinese population. Design: Prospective cohort study.

SETTING: The Singapore Longitudinal Aging Studies (SLAS), a community-based study in urban region of Singapore.

PARTICIPANTS: 1,475 Chinese adults aged ≥ 55 years.

MEASUREMENT: omega-3 PUFA supplements intake and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) were assessed at baseline. MMSE was re-assessed at a median of 1.5 years after baseline and cognitive decline was defined as at least 2-points drop in MMSE score from baseline to follow-up. Odds ratios (ORs) of association between n-3 PUFA supplements intake and cognitive decline were calculated in logistic regression models controlling for baseline confounding variables.

RESULTS: Daily n-3 PUFA supplements intake was significantly (p=0.024) associated with lower risk of cognitive decline (OR=0.37, 95% C.I. 0.16-0.87) after controlling for age, gender, education, number of medical comorbidity, the presence of vascular risk factors/diseases, smoking, alcohol drinking, depression, APOE e4 allele carrier status, nutritional status, level of leisure activities, baseline MMSE and length of follow-up. The association remained significant (p=0.015) after excluding participants with baseline cognitive impairment (MMSE < 24), diabetes, stroke, and cardiac diseases (OR=0.23, 95% C.I. 0.07-0.75). No statistically significant association (OR=1.02, 95% C.I. 0.81-1.27) of fish consumption with cognitive decline was found.

CONCLUSION: Daily n-3 PUFA supplements consumption was independently associated with less cognitive decline in elderly Chinese.