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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)
Abstract

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.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr P. A. Jackson, fax +44 191 227 4515, email philippa.jackson@northumbria.ac.uk
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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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