Omega-3 fatty acid linked to positive impacts in behavioral and cognitive processes
04/09/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

A study published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness found that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) play a role in cognitive and behavioral processes. In particular, adding omega-3 PUFAs to one’s diet improves attention and impulsive behavior.

  • Omega-3 PUFAs are believed to play a role in neuronal processes, such as in neurodevelopmental disorders and for integral central nervous system functioning.
  • Researchers from the University of Regensburg in Germany sought to determine the effects of omega-3 deficiency on attention functions and impulsive behavior in rats.
  • They also looked at the effects of a diet that includes adequate omega-3 PUFAs in omega-3 deficient rats on the same behavioral domains.
  • For the study, the researchers fed the rats with an omega-3 deficient diet over several generations, and the dams of the seventh generation were randomly assigned to two diet groups and a received an omega-3 deficient or an omega-3 sufficient diet.
  • Moreover, they fed a group of previously untreated dams with an omega-3 sufficient diet.
  • Then, the researchers examined the attention and impulsive behavior of the male offspring of these three diet groups.
  • The results showed that the deficiency of omega-3 PUFAs over generations resulted in significant changes in attentional processes and impulsive behaviors.
  • The treatment with the omega-3 sufficient diet partly corrected the impairments associated with an omega-3 deficiency.
  • In particular, omega-3 PUFAs caused significant improvements in attention parameters and in impulsive behavior.

In sum, these findings indicate that omega-3 PUFAs can improve attentional processes and impulsive behavior, supporting the hypothesis that these fatty acids are involved in cognitive and behavioral processes.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

To read more studies on the brain health benefits of omega-3s fatty acids, visit

Journal Reference:

Hauser J, Stollberg E, Reissmann A, Kaunzinger I, Lange KW. ALTERATIONS OF ATTENTION AND IMPULSIVITY IN THE RAT FOLLOWING A TRANSGENERATIONAL DECREASE IN DIETARY OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS. Food Science and Human Wellness. March 2018; 7(1): 49-56. DOI: 10.1016/j.fshw.2017.12.004

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