Clinical significance of neuropsychological improvement after supplementation with omega-3 in 8-12 years old malnourished Mexican children: a randomized, double-blind, placebo and treatment clinical trial

Res Dev Disabil. 2014 Apr;35(4):861-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2014.01.013. Epub 2014 Feb 6.


It has been shown that supplementation with omega-3 improves cognitive performance, especially in infants and toddlers, but it is unknown whether these results are effective in older malnourished children. The aims of this study, therefore, were to investigate the omega-3 supplementation effects in 8- to 12-year-old children and to know which neuropsychological functions improve after three months of intervention in a sample of Mexican children with mild to moderate malnutrition. This study was a randomized, double-blind, treatment and placebo study of 59 children aged 8-12 years who were individually allocated to 2 groups. The duration of the intervention lasted 3 months. Neuropsychological performance was measured at baseline and at 3 months. Results show that more than 50% of children in the treatment group had greater improvement in 11 of the 18 neuropsychological variables studied. Processing speed, visual-motor coordination, perceptual integration, attention and executive function showed improvement in more than 70% of the omega-3 supplemented children. This trial was registered at as NCT01199120.

Keywords: Cognition; Malnourished children; Neuropsychology; Nutrition; Omega-3 supplementation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Child Nutrition Disorders / psychology
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Executive Function*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid

Associated data