A study published in the December 2004 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a correlation between nutritional supplement use and improved cognition later in life. Cognition is the mental process of thought, including perception, reasoning, intuition and memory.
The researchers found that supplement users scored higher on mental speed tests than those who did not take supplements. Fish oil supplement users were found to have greater red blood cell membrane omega-3 fatty acid content, which was correlated with improved cognitive function later in life. A greater ratio of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to arachidonic acid was also related to better cognitive function.
The results of this study are consistent with previous reports that dietary supplements may reduce dementia risk and suggest that optimizing omega-3 fatty acid intake may improve the retention of cognitive function in the elderly.