Fish oil supplements offer no protection against memory loss or Dementia in the short term according to scientists.
They found older people taking omega-3 Fish oil capsuled performed no better in mental tests that those who took dummy pills.
It was thought that Fish-oil supplements, rich in omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, might slow or prevent mental decline as they are found in reduced amounts in people with Alzheimer's disease.
A total of 3,536 people over the age of 60 took part in the studies which lasted between six months and three-and-a-half years. During this time the researchers found no difference in thinking and memore scores between people taking the fatty acids and those not taking them.
Alan Dangour, a nutritionist at the school, and co-author of the report, said: “From these studies, there doesn't appear to be any benefit for cognitive Health for older people of taking omega-3 supplements.
“However, these were relatively short-term studies, so we saw very little deterioration in cognitive function in either the intervention groups or the control groups. It may take much longer to see any effect of these supplements."
He also explained that further studies were needed as omega-3 in fish oil may have other benefits.
The research is published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Dr Carrie Ruxton, an independent nutritionist and scientific adviser to the Health Supplements Information Service, said: ‘Two thirds of Britons never eat oily fish, they do not have omega-3 in their diet and supplements are a good alternative.’