As we age, our cognitive abilities may start to decline, making it more challenging to complete daily tasks and remember important information. However, a clinical trial suggests that certain nutrients may help improve cognitive performance in older adults.
The study, which was conducted by a team of researchers, investigated the effects of omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids, and vitamin E on the cognitive performance of healthy individuals aged 65 years and older.
For the trial, participants were randomly assigned to receive either a daily supplement of 1 gram of fish oil, 22 mg of carotenoids, and 15 mg of vitamin E, or a placebo for 24 months.
The study was double-blind, meaning that neither the participants nor the researchers knew which group each participant was in.
After 24 months, the researchers found that the group receiving the active supplement had significantly fewer errors in working memory tasks than the placebo group. Additionally, the active group outperformed the placebo group as the cognitive load of the tasks increased.
The study also found that the active group had higher levels of carotenoids and omega-3 fatty acids in their blood than the placebo group. Interestingly, the magnitude of change in the levels of these nutrients in the blood was related to the magnitude of change in working memory performance.