Supplementing with DHA along with Lutein improves memory and verbal fluency in older women

June 13, 2008

      Researchers at the Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, in Boston note that a low intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) one of the two major fats in fish oils, and/or a low intake of Lutein may increase the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly. In the study 49 women aged 60 to 80 received one of the following four for 4 months in a double-blinded study; either 800mg of DHA each day, or 12mg of Lutein each day, or a combination of both DHA with Lutein, or inactive placebo. The subjects underwent cognitive testing measuring verbal fluency, memory, processing speed and accuracy, and self-reported mood at the start of and upon completion of the trial.

     Verbal fluency scores improved significantly in the DHA only and also the Lutein only, and also the combination treatment groups (Lutein + DHA). Memory scores and rate of learning improved significantly only in the combined treatment group, with this group also displaying a trend toward more efficient learning. The study is published in the April 1008 issue of the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.