Listed in Issue 137


JOHNSON and SCHAEFER, Carotenoid & Health and Lipid Metabolism Laboratories, Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA,, have reviewed (53 references) the role of n-3 fatty acids in the prevention of dementia and macular degeneration.

Abstract: Dementia and age-related macular degeneration are major causes of disability in the elderly. n-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid, (DHA) are highly concentrated in brain and retinal tissue and may prevent or delay the progression of dementia and macular degeneration. Low dietary intakes and plasma concentrations have been reported to be associated with dementia, cognitive decline, and macular degeneration risk. The major dietary sources of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are fish and fish oils, although dietary supplements are available. At this point, it is not possible to make firm recommendations regarding n-3 fatty acids and the prevention of dementia and macular degeneration. Unpublished observations from the Framingham Heart Study suggest that at least 180 mg daily of dietary docosahexaenoic acid (just under 3 portions of fish per week) is associated with an approximately 50% reduction in dementia risk.






Johnson EJ, Schaefer EJ. Potential role of dietary n-3 fatty acids in the prevention of dementia and macular degeneration. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 83 (6 Suppl): 1494S-1498S, Jun 2006.

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