Epidemiology tells us those older adults who consume the highest amounts of green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables have decreased risk of cognitive decline. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention trial, healthy women between 60 and 80 took lutein at 12mg/day and DHA 800mg/day. Either alone had no effect. But together there was a big improvement.
“The big improvement in cognition was really remarkable, because when you think about elderly and cognition you want it to just not go down,” said Elizabeth Johnson, PhD, at Tufts University. “To have the trend line go up is really exciting. The combination of lutein and DHA created an improvement in learning. In another measure, short-term memory, the combination of lutein and DHA created significant improvement in memory. It’s good to pair an antioxidant, lutein, with an anti-inflammatory, DHA. You find them together. The brain selectively uptakes them. Each works with the other, so it makes biological sense.”