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Cognitive and Mood Effects of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)-Rich and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)-Rich Fish Oil in Healthy Young Adults

This study has been completed.
Ginsana SA
Information provided by:
Northumbria University Identifier:
First received: February 24, 2010
Last updated: NA
Last verified: February 2010
History: No changes posted
To date, only a small handful of studies have assessed the effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) on cognitive function in healthy adults. The results from these studies are mixed, and have differed greatly in terms of methodology as regards sample size, treatment formulation and duration of the intervention. In order to address these issues, the present study aims to assess the effects of two different formulations of fish oil in parallel, and at doses consistent with the current recommended daily intake of oily fish, across a range of cognitive domains. The aim of the present investigation is therefore to specifically evaluate the effects of 12 weeks supplementation of DHA-rich fish oil and EPA-rich fish oil dietary supplements on cognitive function in healthy young adults maintaining a regular diet containing oily fish not more than once a week. Self-report mood assessments will form the secondary part of this investigation.

Condition Intervention
Cognitive Function Mood Dietary Supplement: n-3 PUFAs Dietary Supplement: Placebo

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Cognitive and Mood Effects of DHA-rich and EPA-rich Fish Oil in Healthy Young Adults

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Northumbria University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Cognitive performance [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Performance is assessed using the COMPASS (Computerised Mental Performance Assessment) system, which presents a battery of standard cognitive tasks assessing aspects of attention, memory and executive function. The Cognitive Demand Battery (30 minutes)will also be administered and assesses cognitive performance under mental fatigue.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Mood [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Mood will be evaluated using Bond-Lader VAS and the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales.

Enrollment: 159
Study Start Date: December 2007
Study Completion Date: December 2008
Primary Completion Date: December 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: DHA-rich fish oil
1 g DHA-rich fish oil containing 450 mg DHA + 90 mg EPA
Dietary Supplement: n-3 PUFAs
1 g DHA-rich fish oil taken daily for 12 weeks
Active Comparator: EPA-rich fish oil
1 g EPA-rich fish oil containing 300 mg EPA + 200 mg DHA
Dietary Supplement: n-3 PUFAs
1 g EPA-rich fish oil taken daily for 12 weeks
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
1 g Olive oil
Dietary Supplement: Placebo
1 g olive oil taken daily for 12 weeks


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 35 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Male/Female
  • 18-35 years
  • Healthy
  • No herbal supplements/prescription medications (excl. contraceptive pill)
  • Non smoker
  • Native English speaker

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Consumes ≥ 1 portion oily fish/week
  • takes omega-3 supplement
  • Food allergies to treatment ingredients
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01075919

United Kingdom
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom, NE1 8ST
Sponsors and Collaborators
Northumbria University
Ginsana SA
Principal Investigator: Philippa A Jackson Northumbria University
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: Philippa Jackson, Northumbria University Identifier: NCT01075919     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 16N1
Study First Received: February 24, 2010
Last Updated: February 24, 2010

Keywords provided by Northumbria University:
n-3 PUFAs
Cognitive function
Healthy young adults
Fish oil
Mood processed this record on September 18, 2017