The latest study published in the Journal Of the American Medical Association indicates that omega 3 fatty acids do not slow down or prevent Alzheimer’s dementia. This is just another study which again casts uncertainty on the hype made about omega 3 fatty acids. For decades, these fish oil products have gained wide popularity in alternative health care for their medical benefits. However, in the past, no randomized studies were ever done and health supplements were rarely scrutinized. With more consumers turning towards alternative health care, researchers are now evaluating all the claims made by the health supplement industry.
The present study reveals that omega 3 fatty acids do not minimize the risk or damage of dementia. Said Dr. Steven Ferris, Director of Aging and Dementia at New York University, “DHA or fish-oil supplements aren't likely to cause any harm to Alzheimer's patients, but they aren't likely to do any good either.”
He added, “Fish oil seems to be healthy in general, and maybe for other things it's helpful, but it doesn't benefit cognitive function in a person with Alzheimer's.”
In the past, most of the research on omega 3 fatty acids and dementia was contradictory and inconclusive. Now there are several good randomized studies that show that omega 3 fatty acids supplements have no benefit on mental decline.
"It's not the first time something in large epidemiological data sets just didn't work out clinically," Ferris said. He also mentioned that many other pharmaceutical products like statins, estrogen pills, vitamins and anti-inflammatory drugs also failed to live up to the high expectations after initial promise in preventing Alzheimer’s dementia.
Even though the results are disappointing, there are some who believe that perhaps the omega 3 free fatty acid supplements were started too late in this study. There is evidence that dementia begins decades earlier before one observes any clear mental symptoms; and perhaps omega acids may help prevent dementia if started much earlier in life.