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Fish consumption, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and risk of cognitive decline or Alzheimer disease: a complex association.

Abstract

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids could have neuroprotective properties against dementia, which is becoming a major global public health issue. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to establish the association between eating fish (a source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids) or taking long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplements and the risk of cognitive decline or Alzheimer disease (AD). We identified eleven observational studies and four clinical trials. All three observational studies that used cognitive decline as an outcome reported significant benefits, whereas only four of eight observational studies that used incidence of AD or dementia as an outcome reported positive findings. None of four small clinical trials provided convincing evidence for the use of this approach in the prevention or treatment of any form of dementia. In summary, the existing data favor a role for long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in slowing cognitive decline in elderly individuals without dementia, but not for the prevention or treatment of dementia (including AD). This apparent dichotomy might reflect differences in study designs with regard to participants, dosages, the ratio of long-chain omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, or the choice of outcome measurements. Large clinical trials of extended duration should help to provide definitive answers.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Center for Memory and Brain Health, LifeBridge Health Brain & Spine Institute, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD 21209, USA. mfotuhi@lifebridgehealth.org

    ,

    Source

    MeSH

    Alzheimer Disease
    Animals
    Clinical Trials as Topic
    Cognition
    Cognition Disorders
    Dementia
    Diet
    Dietary Supplements
    Fatty Acids, Omega-3
    Fishes
    Humans
    Neuroprotective Agents
    Risk Factors

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    Review
    Systematic Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    19262590

    Citation

    Fotuhi, Majid, et al. "Fish Consumption, Long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Risk of Cognitive Decline or Alzheimer Disease: a Complex Association." Nature Clinical Practice. Neurology, vol. 5, no. 3, 2009, pp. 140-52.
    Fotuhi M, Mohassel P, Yaffe K. Fish consumption, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and risk of cognitive decline or Alzheimer disease: a complex association. Nat Clin Pract Neurol. 2009;5(3):140-52.
    Fotuhi, M., Mohassel, P., & Yaffe, K. (2009). Fish consumption, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and risk of cognitive decline or Alzheimer disease: a complex association. Nature Clinical Practice. Neurology, 5(3), pp. 140-52. doi:10.1038/ncpneuro1044.
    Fotuhi M, Mohassel P, Yaffe K. Fish Consumption, Long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Risk of Cognitive Decline or Alzheimer Disease: a Complex Association. Nat Clin Pract Neurol. 2009;5(3):140-52. PubMed PMID: 19262590.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Fish consumption, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and risk of cognitive decline or Alzheimer disease: a complex association. AU - Fotuhi,Majid, AU - Mohassel,Payam, AU - Yaffe,Kristine, PY - 2008/12/01/received PY - 2009/01/09/accepted PY - 2009/3/6/entrez PY - 2009/3/6/pubmed PY - 2009/5/14/medline SP - 140 EP - 52 JF - Nature clinical practice. Neurology JO - Nat Clin Pract Neurol VL - 5 IS - 3 N2 - Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids could have neuroprotective properties against dementia, which is becoming a major global public health issue. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to establish the association between eating fish (a source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids) or taking long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplements and the risk of cognitive decline or Alzheimer disease (AD). We identified eleven observational studies and four clinical trials. All three observational studies that used cognitive decline as an outcome reported significant benefits, whereas only four of eight observational studies that used incidence of AD or dementia as an outcome reported positive findings. None of four small clinical trials provided convincing evidence for the use of this approach in the prevention or treatment of any form of dementia. In summary, the existing data favor a role for long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in slowing cognitive decline in elderly individuals without dementia, but not for the prevention or treatment of dementia (including AD). This apparent dichotomy might reflect differences in study designs with regard to participants, dosages, the ratio of long-chain omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, or the choice of outcome measurements. Large clinical trials of extended duration should help to provide definitive answers. SN - 1745-8358 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19262590/Fish_consumption_long_chain_omega_3_fatty_acids_and_risk_of_cognitive_decline_or_Alzheimer_disease:_a_complex_association_ L2 - http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncpneuro1044 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -