Quality of life in the elderly: Prevention of cognitive decline


In the 20th century, life expectancy increased by more than 30 years. We are fortunate. But health expectancy is around 10 years shorter than life expectancy, which means that the last decade of our life is likely to be marked by disability or disease. Older persons with an inadequate supply of micronutrients and antioxidants may be at a higher risk for loss of cognitive functions. Various nutrients are crucial for proper brain functioning, especially in the elderly, and adequate intakes are essential.

The prevention of the impairment of cognitive functions and the development of dementia (a group of chronic symptoms that can include disorientation and impaired memory, language and reasoning) is the best way to fight with them, because once dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are diagnosed, medication cannot reverse its progression. Several studies have demonstrated that reduced dietary intake or low brain levels of DHA are associated with accelerated cognitive decline or the development of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, and that omega-3 supplementation improves brain health and cognitive function, slowing cognitive decline in older people when treated before clinical manifestation of dementia.

If we want to experience a healthy Third Age, we would do well taking a good notice of the effects of DHA in preventing or ameliorating cognitive decline.



Mohajeri MH, Troesch B, Weber P. Inadequate supply of vitamins and DHA in the elderly: Implications for brain aging and Alzheimer-type dementia. Nutrition. 2015 Feb;31(2):261-275.


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