Study Says Fish Oil Does Nothing to Improve Brain Health

Credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

OLDER Brits should not waste their money buying brain-boosting supplements such as fish oil, experts warn.

Instead they should invest in a pair of walking shoes and eat plenty of salmon and trout, if they want to stave off dementia.

A major review by the Global Council on Brain Health found there is “no convincing evidence” nutritional supplements designed to improve thinking skills, memory, or Alzheimers’s symptoms actually work.

Fish oil pills are often marketed as benefiting brain power – and millions of Brits take the over-the-counter capsules daily.

The report says pensioners can get all their key nutrients from a healthy diet. Eating plenty of fruit and veg has been repeatedly linked with better brain health.

Sarah Lenz Lock, Executive Director of the GCBH, said: “Rather than buying a dietary supplement, spend money on new walking shoes or a salmon dinner.”

In 2016, Brits spent £906 million on food supplements.


The global council is an independent collaborative of scientists, health professionals, academics and policy experts.

Their review focused on the over-50s and considered the evidence supporting a range of vitamin and supplements.

In a consensus statement, the council said: “For most people, the best way to get your nutrients for brain health is from a healthy diet.”

The report recommends consumption of fatty fish as potentially beneficial.

But it said there was “insufficient evidence” to support the use of omega-3 fish oil supplements.

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director said: “These eminent experts have concluded it doesn’t do any good to take supplements to promote your brain health in later life so our advice to older people is to save your money and spend it on a healthy diet, full of delicious fruit and vegetables instead.”

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SOURCE: The Sun, Nick McDermott