October 31, 2012
In the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have determined that healthy young adults ages 18-25 can improve their working memory even further by increasing their Omega-3 fatty acid intake with fish oil supplements. Their findings have been published in the online journal, PLOS One.
Led by Rajesh Narendarn, project principal investigator and associate professor of radiology, the research team recruited healthy young men and women from a range of ethnicities to boost their Omega-3 intake with supplements for six months. They were monitored monthly through phone calls and outpatient procedures.
Before they began taking the supplements, all participants underwent positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, and their blood samples were analyzed. They were then asked to perform a working memory test in which they were shown a series of letters and numbers. The young adults had to keep track of what appeared one, two, and three times prior, known as a simple “n-back test.”