Omega-3 and its domain-specific effects on cognitive test performance in youths: a meta-analysis

Publication date: Available online 15 February 2020Source: Neuroscience &Biobehavioral ReviewsAuthor(s): Sophie Emery, Isabelle Häberling, Gregor Berger, Susanne Walitza, Klaus Schmeck, Therese Albert, Noemi Baumgartner, Michael Strumberger, Mona Albermann, Renate DrechslerAbstractOmega-3 fatty acids are vital for brain development. The aim of this meta-analysis was to broaden current knowledge of the effects of omega-3 supplementation on cognitive test performance in youths. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) meeting selection criteria were identified through two independent literature searches on PubMed, Cochrane Library, PsycARTICLES and PsycINFO (last search June 2019). Twenty-nine out of 1126 studies assessing 4247 participants met all selection criteria. A meta-analysis using random-effects model was performed for eight different cognitive domains. This first analysis revealed no main effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on domain-specific cognitive test performance in youths. Subgroup analyses identified beneficial effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)-rich but not docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich formulations in the domains of long-term memory, working memory and problem solving and a tendency towards beneficial effects in clinical rather than non-clinical populations. Future research should investigate differential effect of EPA and DHA and consider their baseline levels, other nutritional components and interactions with gene variations as potentia...
Source: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research

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