A combined DHA-rich fish oil and cocoa flavanols intervention does not improve cognition or brain structure in older adults with memory complaints: Results from the CANN randomized, controlled parallel-design study

Vauzour, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5952-8756, Scholey, Andrew, White, David J., Cohen, Neal J., Cassidy, Aedín, Gillings, Rachel, Irvine, Michael A., Kay, Colin D., Kim, Min, King, Rebecca, Legido-Quigley, Cristina, Potter, John F., Schwarb, Hilary and Minihane, Anne-Marie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9042-4226 (2023) A combined DHA-rich fish oil and cocoa flavanols intervention does not improve cognition or brain structure in older adults with memory complaints: Results from the CANN randomized, controlled parallel-design study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 118 (2). pp. 369-381. ISSN 0002-9165

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Background: There is evidence that both omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) (eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) and cocoa flavanols can improve cognitive performance in both healthy individuals and in those with memory complaints. However, their combined effect is unknown. Objectives: To investigate the combined effect of EPA/DHA and cocoa flavanols (OM3FLAV) on cognitive performance and brain structures in older adults with memory complaints. Methods: A randomized placebo-controlled trial of DHA-rich fish oil (providing 1.1 g/d DHA and 0.4 g/d EPA) and a flavanol-rich dark chocolate (providing 500 mg/d flavan-3-ols) was conducted in 259 older adults with either subjective cognitive impairment or mild cognitive impairment. Participants underwent assessment at baseline, 3 mo, and 12 mo. The primary outcome was the number of false-positives on a picture recognition task from the Cognitive Drug Research computerized assessment battery. Secondary outcomes included other cognition and mood outcomes, plasma lipids, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and glucose levels. A subset of 110 participants underwent structural neuroimaging at baseline and at 12 mo. Results: 197 participants completed the study. The combined intervention had no significant effect on any cognitive outcomes, with the exception of reaction time variability (P = 0.007), alertness (P < 0.001), and executive function (P < 0.001), with a decline in function observed in the OM3FLAV group (118.6 [SD 25.3] at baseline versus 113.3 [SD 25.4] at 12 mo for executive function) relative to the control, and an associated decrease in cortical volume (P = 0.039). Compared with the control group, OM3FLAV increased plasma HDL, total cholesterol ratio (P < 0.001), and glucose (P = 0.008) and reduced TG concentrations (P < 0.001) by 3 mo, which were sustained to 12 mo, with no effect on BDNF. Changes in plasma EPA and DHA and urinary flavonoid metabolite concentrations confirmed compliance to the intervention. Conclusions: These results suggest that cosupplementation with ω-3 PUFAs and cocoa flavanols for 12 mo does not improve cognitive outcomes in those with cognitive impairment. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02525198.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding: The research was funded in part by Abbott Nutrition via a Centre for Nutrition, Learning, and Memory (CNLM) grant to the University of Illinois, which in turn awarded a research grant to the authors through a competitive peer reviewed process. Study foods were provided free of charge by Abbott Nutrition (Columbus, OH, United States). Data availability: Data described in the manuscript, code book, and analytic code will be made available upon request pending application and approval.
Uncontrolled Keywords: omega-3,polyphenols,flavonoids,mild cognitive impairment,subjective cognitive impairment,aging,cognition,polyphenols,cognition,omega-3,subjective cognitive impairment,mild cognitive impairment,aging,flavonoids,nutrition and dietetics,medicine (miscellaneous) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2900/2916
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Norwich Institute for Healthy Aging
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Nutrition and Preventive Medicine
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2023 14:15
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 08:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/92387
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajcnut.2023.06.008

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