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Mind & Memory - Soy, omega-3's improve cognition, memory

Soy isoflavones improve cognition

Many studies support the beneficial effect of soy isoflavones on cognition. Here, doctors reviewed 16 soy isoflavone placebo-controlled trials covering 1,386 participants, average age 60. Overall, compared to placebo, those taking soy isoflavones saw a 19 percent improvement in overall cognitive function, and a 15 percent improvement in memory. Doctors concluded soy isoflavones may improve cognitive function in adults.

Reference: Nutrition Reviews; 2020, Vol. 78, No. 2, 134-44

Omega-3 improved function in mild cognitive impairment

In this analysis of seven omega-3 clinical trials, 434 older adults with mild cognitive impairment took a placebo or omega-3 fish oil supplements over various study periods. Overall, compared to placebo, omega-3s improved cognitive function in elders with mild cognitive impairment. Benefits appeared at doses of 900 to 2,500 mg of DHA/EPA per day, and not between 300 and 700 mg per day.

Reference: Nutrition Reviews; December, 2019, nuz073, Published Online

Omega-3 improved memory in healthy adults

In this review of 25 placebo-controlled omega-3 studies, doctors analyzed changes in cognitive function in cognitively healthy older adults after participants took omega-3 fish oil supplements.

Overall, compared to placebo, memory improved for those taking omega-3 fish oil supplements. The omega-3 DHA, the most abundant fatty acid in the brain, plays a direct role in forming nerve cells, synapses, and the protective sheaths around nerves. Doctors said, “DHA may continue to play a part in memory and learning in adulthood because adult neural stem cells play a role in neurogenesis,” or nerve development.

Reference: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition; December, 2019, s41430, Published Online

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