Dorene Lebowitz has been taking supplements of omega-3 fish oil for 10 years, hoping to stay healthy and keep her mind sharp.
"If it could possibly work then it's fine with me. I'd be delighted," she said.
It's long been thought that the fatty acids found in fish and nuts are good for the brain, but a new review of past studies found older people who took omega-3 supplements did not score any better on thinking and memory tests than participants who took a placebo.
"This is a great shame. It would be lovely to find a solution for cognitive decline and dementia, and unfortunately, the evidence as it stands says it does not benefit cognitive function in older people," said Dr. Alan Dangour, a co-author of the study.
But other experts say the studies weren't long enough and the patients weren't old enough.
"Those were young patients by any standard; they were in their 60s, early 70s. Today that's middle age," said Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein, the director of geriatric education at North Shore-LIJ Health System.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of a healthy diet and may provide heart benefits, so even the study's authors recommend people continue to eat two servings of fish a week.
As for the supplements, the authors say it's up to the individual to make the decision. Dorene Lebowitz says she's not giving them up.
"I've heard and read more positive things about it, so I would continue it. It doesn't seem to have anything that could be harmful," she said.
Doctors say diet, along with physical and mental activity, will go a long way toward keeping the mind young.
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:32 AM EST2013-12-12 05:32:39 GMT
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward. The Seneca Mountain project calls for 20 turbines on ridge lines inMore >>
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:37 PM EST2013-12-12 04:37:09 GMT
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel. Authorities say it happened Wednesday morning at a farm on Shoreham Depot Road in Shoreham. They say anMore >>
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:34 PM EST2013-12-12 04:34:11 GMT
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child. MoreMore >>
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 5:19 PM EST2013-12-11 22:19:28 GMT
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley. James Oberfeldt, 30, of Claremont, is currently jailed in Massachusetts on a drug charge. Police say he's been identifiedMore >>
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:54 PM EST2013-12-11 23:54:10 GMT
Two men are behind bars after a burglary in St. Albans. Police arrested James Perron, 27, of St. Albans, and Eric Walsh, 34, Tuesday for allegedly stealing a safe containing $15,000 in cash. It happenedMore >>
Two men are behind bars in connection with a burglary in St. Albans.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:53 PM EST2013-12-12 00:53:13 GMT
Two Plattsburgh State students are under arrest in connection with a brawl outside a fraternity house. It happened last month outside the Alpha Chi Rho (AXP) house on Brinkerhoff Street. Police say itMore >>
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