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Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation effects on weight and appetite in patients with Alzheimer’s disease: the omega-3 Alzheimer’s disease study


Faxén Irving, Gerd, Freund-Levi, Yvonne, Eriksdotter-Jönhagen, Maria, Basun, Hans, Brismar, Kerstin, Hjorth, Erik, Palmblad, Jan, Vessby, Bengt, Vedin, Inger, Wahlund, Lars-Olof, Cederholm, Tommy


Journal Of The American Geriatrics Society, Volume: 57, No.: 1, Pages.: 11-17

Year of Publication



Objectives: To study the effects of omega (Omega)-3 fatty acid (FA) supplements on weight and appetite in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in relation to inflammatory biomarkers and apolipoprotein E epsilon4 (APOEepsilon4).; Design: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.; Setting: Specialist memory clinics in the Stockholm catchment area.; Participants: Two hundred four patients (aged 73+/-9, 52% women) with mild to moderate AD.; Intervention: Patients with AD received 1.7 g of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and 0.6 g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (Omega-3/Omega-3 group; n=89, aged 73+/-9, 57% women) or placebo 0.6 g of linoleic acid per day (placebo/Omega-3 group; n=85, aged 73+/-9, 46% women) for 6 months. After 6 months, all patients received DHA and EPA for another 6 months.; Measurements: Anthropometry, biochemical nutritional and inflammatory markers, and appetite assessed by caregiver.; Results: Mean weight and body mass index (kg/m(2)) at baseline were 70.0+/-11.8 kg and 24.3+/-3.0 kg/m(2), respectively. At 6- and 12-month follow-up, weight had increased 0.7+/-2.5 kg (P=.02) and 1.4+/-2.9 kg (P<.001) in the Omega-3/Omega-3 group. In the placebo group, weight was unchanged at 6 months but had increased (P=.01) at 12 months follow-up after Omega-3 supplementation was initiated. Appetite improved in the Omega-3/Omega-3 group over the treatment period (P=.01). In logistic regression analyses, not carrying the APOEepsilon4 allele and high plasma DHA concentrations were independently related to weight gain in the combined group of patients at 6 months follow-up.; Conclusion: A DHA-enriched Omega-3 FA supplement may positively affect weight and appetite in patients with mild to moderate AD. Not carrying the APOEepsilon4 allele and high DHA were independently associated with weight gain.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Fax_n_Irving_2009, doi = {10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.02055.x}, url = {}, year = 2009, month = {jan}, publisher = {Wiley-Blackwell}, volume = {57}, number = {1}, pages = {11--17}, author = {Gerd Fax{~{A}}{textcopyright}n Irving and Yvonne Freund-Levi and Maria Eriksdotter-J{~{A}}{textparagraph}nhagen and Hans Basun and Kerstin Brismar and Erik Hjorth and Jan Palmblad and Bengt Vessby and Inger Vedin and Lars-Olof Wahlund and Tommy Cederholm}, title = {Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Effects on Weight and Appetite in Patients with Alzheimer{textquotesingle}s Disease: The Omega-3 Alzheimer{textquotesingle}s Disease Study}, journal = {Journal of the American Geriatrics Society} }


acid, administration & dosage, aged, aged, 80 and over, alzheimer disease, anthropometry, apolipoprotein e4, appetite, biological markers, blood, bmi, body weight, dietary supplements, drug effects, drug therapy, fatty, female, humans, male, omega, weight

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Other, Physical Health


Specialist Dementia Centre Care / Memory Clinic

Type of Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Pharmaceutical Interventions

Herbal remedies, vitamins, dietary supplements