Effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in patients with Alzheimer disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Neurologia (Engl Ed). 2020 Mar;35(2):105-114. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2017.07.009. Epub 2017 Oct 4.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: Alzheimer disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterised by progressive dementia associated with global cognitive dysfunction.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials evaluating omega-3 supplementation in patients with AD.

Objective: To determine if there is scientific evidence of the effectiveness of omega-3 supplementation in improving cognitive function in patients with AD.

Search strategy: We included only randomised controlled trials (RCTs) from the following databases: Medline, Cochrane Central, Cinahl, and LILACS. An electronic search was also conducted using Google Scholar.

Study selection: Six articles met the eligibility criteria. The risk of bias was assessed following the Cochrane method.

Conclusion: There is no consistent evidence to support the effectiveness of omega-3 supplementation in improving cognitive function in AD patients in the short and medium term.

Keywords: Alzheimer disease; Cognitive function; Enfermedad de Alzheimer; Ensayo clínico aleatorizado; Función cognitiva; Omega-3 fatty acids; Randomised controlled trial; Revisión sistemática; Systematic review; Ácidos grasos omega-3.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / drug therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3