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Nutrients 2016, 8(1), 13; doi:10.3390/nu8010013

Association between Blood Omega-3 Index and Cognition in Typically Developing Dutch Adolescents

Welten Institute, Research Centre for Learning, Teaching, and Technology, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen 6419 AT, The Netherlands
Omegametrix, Martinsried 82 152, Germany
Aker BioMarine Antarctic AS, Lysaker NO-1327, Norway
NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University, Maastricht 6200 MD, The Netherlands
CAPHRI School for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University, Maastricht 6200 MD, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 2 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DHA for Optimal Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [221 KB, uploaded 2 January 2016]


The impact of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) on cognition is heavily debated. In the current study, the possible association between omega-3 LCPUFAs in blood and cognitive performance of 266 typically developing adolescents aged 13–15 years is investigated. Baseline data from Food2Learn, a double-blind and randomized placebo controlled krill oil supplementation trial in typically developing adolescents, were used for the current study. The Omega-3 Index was determined with blood from a finger prick. At baseline, participants finished a neuropsychological test battery consisting of the Letter Digit Substitution Test (LDST), D2 test of attention, Digit Span Forward and Backward, Concept Shifting Test and Stroop test. Data were analyzed with multiple regression analyses with correction for covariates. The average Omega-3 Index was 3.83% (SD 0.60). Regression analyses between the Omega-3 Index and the outcome parameters revealed significant associations with scores on two of the nine parameters. The association between the Omega-3 Index and both scores on the LDST (β = 0.136 and p = 0.039), and the number of errors of omission on the D2 (β = −0.053 and p = 0.007). This is a possible indication for a higher information processing speed and less impulsivity in those with a higher Omega-3 Index. View Full-Text
Keywords: docosahexaneoic acid (DHA); eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); adolescents; cognition; Omega-3 fatty acids; Omega-3 Index docosahexaneoic acid (DHA); eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); adolescents; cognition; Omega-3 fatty acids; Omega-3 Index
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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van der Wurff, I.S.M.; von Schacky, C.; Berge, K.; Zeegers, M.P.; Kirschner, P.A.; de Groot, R.H.M. Association between Blood Omega-3 Index and Cognition in Typically Developing Dutch Adolescents. Nutrients 2016, 8, 13.

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