Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an essential fatty acid that is found in fish oil. Research appearing in Alzheimer’s & Dementia (2010 Apr 29; [Epub ahead of print]) looked at the effect DHA supplementation had on memory. The subjects of the double-blind, placebo-controlled study were 485 patients over the age of 55 with age-related cognitive decline (ARCD). Other than the memory problem, the subjects were healthy. They were randomly divided into two groups and for 24 weeks they were given either a placebo or 900 mg of DHA per day. The group receiving the supplementation scored better on tests evaluating visual spatial learning, episodic memory and verbal recognition.

There is other research that supports the value of DHA supplementation for memory. A study that appeared in Neuroscience Research (Volume 56, Issue 2, October 2006, Pages 159-164) found that supplementing amnesia patients with DHA and arachidonic acid improved scores on tests evaluating memory and attention. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 49 women between the ages of 60 and 80 appeared in Nutritional Neuroscience (2008; 11(2): 75-83). It found that supplementing with a combination of DHA and lutein may improve cognition.