A recent Canadian study has provided an explanation as to why consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can help improve the memory in some people.
A research team based at the University of Alberta, according to PsychCentral, put forward a theory as to why some people who consume a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids have a better memory than many who do not consume foods enriched with omega-3.
The Canadian scientists, led by Yves Sauve, studied diets rich in DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), a form of omega-3 found in fish. The studies were undertaken using animals, where some groups were fed with high-DHA diets and others were not. The behavior of the animals was studied and the animals with the fortified diets exhibited better memories when subjected to tests.
Emax Science notes that upon analysis of the animals, the team found that such diets lead to higher levels of the fatty acid in the region of the brain that regulates memory (the hippocampus).
In a press release from the University, the lead researcher Sauve is quoted as saying “We wanted to find out how fish intake improves memory. What we discovered is that memory cells in the hippocampus could communicate better with each other and better relay messages when DHA levels in that region of the brain were higher. This could explain why memory improves on a high-DHA diet."
The implications of the research could be that dietary supplements containing DHA levels would help to improve the memory, especially in older people.
The findings been published in the peer-reviewed journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.