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Omega-3 and Cognitive Function


Children ages 2 to 6 with high levels of omega-3 in their blood, and especially high levels of DHA, have improved brain function, according to a study published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. The study took place in Northern Ghana where access to foods rich in omega-3 is scarce.

Blood spot omega-3 tests were conducted on 307 children and the average Omega-3 Index level for the children was 4.6 percent. The children were then asked to sort cards in order to evaluate their cognitive function. Half of all the subjects were unable to follow the sorting directions. Results showed that children with the highest DHA levels were three to four times more likely to pass the sorting test than children with the lowest levels.

These results, while promising, are correlative rather than causative. However, the study serves as an objective biomarker to establish omega-3 levels rather than relying on anecdotal evidence.

Bill Harris, Ph.D., one of the study authors and co-inventor of the Omega-3 Index test says, “We were happy to see the positive correlation between omega-3 levels and better brain function, especially since an omega-3 deficiency is so easy to correct. All it requires is consuming more of the right omega-3s, especially DHA which, in this case, was the standout fatty acid.”

Alina Hornfeldt is marketing manager at Mastel’s Health Foods. Find her work at

Mastel’s is located at 1526 St. Clair Ave., St Paul. For more information, call 651-690-1692 or visit 

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