Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Cited by 22
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Boespflug, E. L. McNamara, R. K. Eliassen, J. C. Schidler, M. D. and Krikorian, Robert 2016. Fish oil supplementation increases event-related posterior cingulate activation in older adults with subjective memory impairment. The journal of nutrition, health & aging, Vol. 20, Issue. 2, p. 161.

    Jackson, Philippa Forster, Joanne Bell, J. Dick, James Younger, Irene and Kennedy, David 2016. DHA Supplementation Alone or in Combination with Other Nutrients Does not Modulate Cerebral Hemodynamics or Cognitive Function in Healthy Older Adults. Nutrients, Vol. 8, Issue. 2, p. 86.

    Messamore, Erik and McNamara, Robert K. 2016. Detection and treatment of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency in psychiatric practice: Rationale and implementation. Lipids in Health and Disease, Vol. 15, Issue. 1,

    Radcliffe, J.E. Thomas, J. Bramley, A.L. Kouris-Blazos, A. Radford, B.E. Scholey, A.B. Pipingas, A. Thomas, C.J. and Itsiopoulos, C. 2016. Controversies in omega-3 efficacy and novel concepts for application. Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism, Vol. 5, p. 11.

    Weiser, Michael Butt, Christopher and Mohajeri, M. 2016. Docosahexaenoic Acid and Cognition throughout the Lifespan. Nutrients, Vol. 8, Issue. 2, p. 99.

    Yehuda, Shlomo and Rabinovitz, Sharon 2016. The Role of Essential Fatty Acids in Anorexia Nervosa and Obesity. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Vol. 56, Issue. 12, p. 2021.

    Camfield, David and Scholey, Andrew 2015. Nutrition for Brain Health and Cognitive Performance.

    Dodd, F. L. Kennedy, D. O. Riby, L. M. and Haskell-Ramsay, C. F. 2015. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood. Psychopharmacology, Vol. 232, Issue. 14, p. 2563.

    Giles, Grace E. Mahoney, Caroline R. Urry, Heather L. Brunyé, Tad T. Taylor, Holly A. and Kanarek, Robin B. 2015. Omega-3 fatty acids and stress-induced changes to mood and cognition in healthy individuals. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Vol. 132, p. 10.

    Wightman, Emma L. Haskell-Ramsay, Crystal F. Thompson, Kevin G. Blackwell, Jamie R. Winyard, Paul G. Forster, Joanne Jones, Andrew M. and Kennedy, David O. 2015. Dietary nitrate modulates cerebral blood flow parameters and cognitive performance in humans: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover investigation. Physiology & Behavior, Vol. 149, p. 149.

    Bauer, Isabelle Crewther, Sheila Pipingas, Andrew Sellick, Laura and Crewther, David 2014. Does omega-3 fatty acid supplementation enhance neural efficiency? A review of the literature. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, Vol. 29, Issue. 1, p. 8.

    Bauer, Isabelle Hughes, Matthew Rowsell, Renee Cockerell, Robyn Pipingas, Andrew Crewther, Sheila and Crewther, David 2014. Omega-3 supplementation improves cognition and modifies brain activation in young adults. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, Vol. 29, Issue. 2, p. 133.

    Giles, Grace E. Mahoney, Caroline R. and Kanarek, Robin B. 2014. Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Brain and Neurological Health.

    Joffre, C. Nadjar, A. Lebbadi, M. Calon, F. and Laye, S. 2014. n-3 LCPUFA improves cognition: The young, the old and the sick. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids (PLEFA), Vol. 91, Issue. 1-2, p. 1.

    K.M., Denny Joseph and Muralidhara, 2014. Neuroprotective efficacy of a combination of fish oil and ferulic acid against 3-nitropropionic acid-induced oxidative stress and neurotoxicity in rats: behavioural and biochemical evidence1. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, Vol. 39, Issue. 4, p. 487.

    Mahmoudi, Mohammad Hedayat, Mona Sharifi, Farshad Mirarefin, Mojde Nazari, Neda Mehrdad, Neda Ghaderpanahi, Mayam Tajalizadekhoob, Yaser Badamchizade, Zohre Larijani, Bagher Alatab, Sudabeh Alizadeh, Mahtab Arzaghi, Seyed Najafi, Baharak and Fakhrzadeh, Hossein 2014. Effect of low dose ω-3 poly unsaturated fatty acids on cognitive status among older people: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders, Vol. 13, Issue. 1, p. 34.

    Stonehouse, Welma 2014. Does Consumption of LC Omega-3 PUFA Enhance Cognitive Performance in Healthy School-Aged Children and throughout Adulthood? Evidence from Clinical Trials. Nutrients, Vol. 6, Issue. 7, p. 2730.

    Sun, Li-Juan Hou, Xiang-Hong Xue, Sen-Hai Yan, Feng Dai, Yu-Jie Zhao, Chang-Hai Wang, Feng and Yang, Rui-Hua 2014. Fish oil modulates glycogen synthase kinase-3 signaling pathway in diabetes-induced hippocampal neurons apoptosis. Brain Research, Vol. 1574, p. 37.

    Jackson, Philippa 2013. Advances in Natural Medicines, Nutraceuticals and Neurocognition.

    Parletta, Natalie Milte, Catherine M. and Meyer, Barbara J. 2013. Nutritional modulation of cognitive function and mental health. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Vol. 24, Issue. 5, p. 725.


DHA-rich oil modulates the cerebral haemodynamic response to cognitive tasks in healthy young adults: a near IR spectroscopy pilot study

  • Philippa A. Jackson (a1), Jonathon L. Reay (a1), Andrew B. Scholey (a2) and David O. Kennedy (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 03 October 2011

The impact of dietary n-3 PUFA on behavioural outcomes has been widely researched; however, very little attention has been given to their impact on brain functioning in physiological terms. A total of twenty-two healthy adults took part in this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, wherein the cerebral haemodynamic effects of 12 weeks of daily dietary supplementation with either 1 g DHA-rich or 1 g EPA-rich fish oil (FO) or placebo (1 g olive oil) were assessed. Relative changes in the concentration of oxygenated Hb (oxy-Hb) and deoxygenated Hb were assessed in the prefrontal cortex using near IR spectroscopy (NIRS) during the performance of four computerised cognitive tasks. Supplementation with DHA-rich FO, in comparison with placebo, resulted in a significant increase in the concentrations of oxy-Hb and total levels of Hb, indicative of increased cerebral blood flow (CBF), during the cognitive tasks. In comparison, no effect on CBF was observed following supplementation with EPA-rich FO, where concentration changes in the chromophores followed the same pattern as placebo. These encouraging pilot data warrant further application of NIRS in this area.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      DHA-rich oil modulates the cerebral haemodynamic response to cognitive tasks in healthy young adults: a near IR spectroscopy pilot study
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      DHA-rich oil modulates the cerebral haemodynamic response to cognitive tasks in healthy young adults: a near IR spectroscopy pilot study
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      DHA-rich oil modulates the cerebral haemodynamic response to cognitive tasks in healthy young adults: a near IR spectroscopy pilot study
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr P. A. Jackson, fax +44 191 227 4515, email
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1GC Burdge & PC Calder (2005) Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to longer-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in human adults. Reprod Nutr Dev 45, 581597.

2RK McNamara & SE Carlson (2006) Role of omega-3 fatty acids in brain development and function: potential implications for the pathogenesis and prevention of psychopathology. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 75, 329349.

3LA Horrocks & AA Farooqui (2004) Docosahexaenoic acid in the diet: its importance in maintenance and restoration of neural membrane function. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 70, 361372.

7H Tsukada , T Kakiuchi , D Fukumoto , (2000) Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improves the age-related impairment of the coupling mechanism between neuronal activation and functional cerebral blood flow response: a PET study in conscious monkeys. Brain Res 862, 180186.

8G Fontani , A Corradeschi , F Felici , (2005) Cognitive and physiological effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Invest 35, 691699.

9RK McNamara , J Able , R Jandacek , (2010) Docosahexaenoic acid supplementation increases prefrontal cortex activation during sustained attention in healthy boys: a placebo-controlled, dose-ranging, functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Am J Clin Nutr 91, 10601067.

10J Steinbrink , A Villringer , F Kempf , (2006) Illuminating the BOLD signal: combined fMRI-fNIRS studies. Magn Reson Imaging 24, 495505.

11A Villringer & U Dirnagl (1995) Coupling of brain activity and cerebral blood-flow – basis of functional neuroimaging. Cerebrovasc Brain Metab Rev 7, 240276.

13AJ Fallgatter & WK Strik (1997) Right frontal activation during the continuous performance test assessed with near-infrared spectroscopy in healthy subjects. Neurosci Lett 223, 8992.

14AJ Fallgatter & WK Strik (1998) Frontal brain activation during the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test assessed with two-channel near-infrared spectroscopy. Eur Arch Psych Clin Neurosci 248, 245249.

15M Schecklmann , AC Ehlis , MM Plichta , (2008) Functional near-infrared spectroscopy: a long-term reliable tool for measuring brain activity during verbal fluency. Neuroimage 43, 147155.

16G Jasdzewski , G Strangman , J Wagner , (2003) Differences in the hemodynamic response to event-related motor and visual paradigms as measured by near-infrared spectroscopy. Neuroimage 20, 479488.

17Y Kanamaru , A Kikukawa , Y Miyamoto , (2008) Dimenhydrinate effect on cerebral oxygen status and salivary chromogranin-A during cognitive tasks. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 32, 107115.

18P Bonoczk , G Panczel & Z Nagy (2002) Vinpocetine increases cerebral blood flow and oxygenation in stroke patients: a near infrared spectroscopy and transcranial Doppler study. Eur J Ultrasound 15, 8591.

19DO Kennedy , EL Wightman , JL Reay , (2010) Effects of resveratrol on cerebral blood flow variables and cognitive performance in humans: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover investigation. Am J Clin Nutr 91, 15901597.

20DO Kennedy & CF Haskell (2011) Cerebral blood flow and behavioural effects of caffeine in habitual and non-habitual consumers of caffeine: a near infrared spectroscopy study. Biol Psychol 86, 298306.

21M Hashimoto , MS Hossain , H Yamasaki , (1999) Effects of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid on plasma membrane fluidity of aortic endothelial cells. Lipids 34, 12971304.

22Y Katayama , T Katsumata , H Muramatsu , (1997) Effect of long-term administration of ethyl eicosapentate (EPA-E) on local cerebral blood flow and glucose utilization in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP). Brain Res 761, 300305.

24B Chance , JS Leigh , H Miyake , (1988) Comparison of time-resolved and time-unresolved measurements of deoxyhemoglobin in brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 85, 49714975.

25MA Vanderhasselt , R De Raedt & C Baeken (2009) Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and Stroop performance: tackling the lateralization. Psychon Bull Rev 16, 609612.

26PB Fitzgerald , A Srithiran , J Benitez , (2008) An fMRI study of prefrontal brain activation during multiple tasks in patients with major depressive disorder. Hum Brain Mapp 29, 490501.

27BK Toone , CI Okocha , K Sivakumar , (2000) Changes in regional cerebral blood flow due to cognitive activation among patients with schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry 177, 222228.

28DO Kennedy , R Veasey , A Watson , (2010) Effects of high-dose B vitamin complex with vitamin C and minerals on subjective mood and performance in healthy males. Psychopharmacology 211, 5568.

29Y Hoshi (2007) Functional near-infrared spectroscopy: current status and future prospects. J Biomed Opt 12, 062106.

30G Keppel (1991) Design and Analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

31ME Sublette , MS Milak , JR Hibbeln , (2009) Plasma polyunsaturated fatty acids and regional cerebral glucose metabolism in major depression. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 80, 5764.

32TJ Huppert , RD Hoge , SG Diamond , (2006) A temporal comparison of BOLD, ASL, and NIRS hemodynamic responses to motor stimuli in adult humans. Neuroimage 29, 368382.

33A Kirby , A Woodward , S Jackson , (2010) A double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigating the effects of omega-3 supplementation in children aged 8–10 years from a mainstream school population. Res Dev Disabil 31, 718730.

34SJM Osendarp , KI Baghurst , J Bryan , (2007) Effect of a 12-mo micronutrient intervention on learning and memory in well-nourished and marginally nourished school-aged children: 2 parallel, randomized, placebo-controlled studies in Australia and Indonesia. Am J Clin Nutr 86, 10821093.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *