Research: LIM and co-workers,

Listed in Issue 136


LIM and co-workers, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore, Singapore, 308433,, have reviewed (51 references) n-3 fatty acids in the prevention of dementia.


Accruing evidence from observational and epidemiological studies suggests an inverse relationship between dietary intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the risk of dementia. Postulated mechanisms that might qualify n- 3 fatty acids as an interventional target for the primary prevention of dementia include their anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-amyloid and neuroprotective properties. The aim of this study was to review the evidence that n-3 fatty acid supplementation prevents cognitive impairment and dementia in cognitively intact elderly persons.


The Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group’s (CDCIG) Specialized register, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL PsycINFO, AMED AND CENTRAL and several ongoing trials databases were searched for randomized, placebo-controlled, doubled blinded trials. The minimum study duration had to be 6 months. Persons aged 60 years and above without pre-existing dementia at study onset had to be involved, and cognitive endpoints had to be employed. In comparing intervention with placebo, the pooled odds ratios or weighted mean differences and standardized mean difference were estimated.


There were no randomized trials found in the search that met the selection criteria. Results of two clinical trials are expected in


There is a growing body of evidence from biological, observational and epidemiological studies that suggests a protective effect of n-3 fatty acids against dementia. However, until data from randomized trials become available for analysis, there is no good evidence to support the use of dietary or supplemental n-3 fatty acids for the prevention of dementia.


Lim WS, Gammack JK, Van Niekerk J, Dangour AD. Omega 3 fatty acid for the prevention of dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1): CD005379, 2006.

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