Strike SC, Carlisle A, Gibson EL, Dyall SC. (2016) J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 71(2): 236-42. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glv109. Epub 2015 Aug 11.
Mobility is a key determinant of frailty in older persons, and a variety of dietary factors, such as the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are positively associated with decreased frailty and improved mobility and cognition in older persons.
The effects of a multinutrient supplement on mobility and cognition were assessed in postmenopausal women (60-84 years). Participants received either Efalex Active 50+ (1g DHA, 160mg eicosapentaenoic acid, 240mg Ginkgo biloba, 60mg phosphatidylserine, 20mg d-α tocopherol, 1mg folic acid, and 20 µg vitamin B12 per day; N = 15) or placebo (N = 12) for 6 months. Mobility was assessed by VICON 9 motion capture camera system synchronized with Kistler force plates, cognitive performance by computerized cognitive function tests, and blood fatty acid levels by pin-prick analysis.
Significant effects of treatment were seen in two of the four cognitive tests, with shorter mean latencies in a motor screening task (p < .05) and more words remembered (p < .03), and one of the three primary mobility measures with improved habitual walking speed (p < .05). Compared with the placebo group, supplementation also resulted in significantly higher blood DHA levels (p < .02).
In this pilot study, multinutrient supplementation improved cognition and mobility in able older females at clinically relevant levels, suggesting a potential role in reducing the decline to frailty.