Style & ShowbizHealth

Exercise and omega-3 don't boost the brain

HealthBy Sunday World
Exercise and omega-3 don't boost the brain

It's been a bad day for the older generation; two new studies claim that neither exercise nor omega-3 tablets keep the brain young or boost mind power.

Firstly research published in JAMA has found that exercise doesn't help the elderly to retain brain function. Lead by Dr. Kaycee Sink, director of the memory assessment clinic at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the results are somewhat surprising as previous studies have found the opposite.

Dr. Sink and her team looked at a group of 1,635 elderly, sedentary people aged between 70 and 89.

Participants were randomly selected to either partake in some moderately vigorous walking exercise, or to remain sitting but get involved with an interactive programme. They were tracked for two years, and at the end of the study period scores recorded on a battery of cognitive function for the two groups were about the same.

"[The idea that exercise doesn’t help the brain] flies in the face of conventional wisdom," Dr. Sink commented.

However it is important to remember that moderate exercise can help the heart and blood and lower the risk of diabetes.

In other news, the US National Eye Institute has found fish oil supplements don't help to slow down mental decline.

4,000 people in their 70s were monitored for this study over a five-year period. At the end it was concluded that the omega-3 made no difference to keeping their wit sharp.

"Contrary to popular belief, we didn't see any benefit of omega-3 supplements for stopping cognitive decline,” lead author Dr. Emily Chew explained.

Cover Media