A recent report has found the over-50s are concerned about their memory, with 59% noticing a degree of decline in the past five years.

Declining memory is a major concern for most people, and the desire to take steps to prevent this is something that many are thinking about. That’s what a report by Equazen called Something Fishy has said.

Interestingly, they found that people are concerned about the effect that technology is having on their ability to focus, with one in 10 saying their concentration has deteriorated since they began spending more time online and 12% admitting they get bored easily.

Two out of five people do try to maintain their cognitive health through crosswords and puzzles (76%), followed by a healthy diet (75%) and exercise (57%). Only one in ten took a brain boosting supplement, despite numerous research suggesting supplements containing long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (LCn3PUFA) can help boost volume in the hippocampus, the area of the brain that effects memory.

The report looked into how the human brain is made up of 60% fats, which is why essential fatty acids are so important for brain health, and in particular, omega fatty acids docosahexanoic acid (DHA).

It states that much like building up bone and muscle health, you can do the same with your brain health. It’s known as the Cognitive Reserve Hypothesis, and it’s essentially belief that if don’t use it, you’ll lose it. That is, ‘exercising’ your brain through reading, puzzles or learning a language for example, will keep it healthier for longer and slow cognitive decline.

Interestingly, there was a disconnect between what the average over-50-year-old wants and what they do, with a quarter of them saying they would rather stay mentally sharp than physically fit, and yet 60% of them weren’t actually doing anything to protect their mental health, particularly when it came to eating enough omega-3-rich fatty acids (in the form of oily fish) or taking a supplement.

‘The evidence is clear,’ says Professor Philip Calder, who helped put the report together with dietician Dr Carrie Ruxton. ‘Simple strategies such as staying mentally active, taking up new hobbies and ensuring an adequate intake of LCn3PUFA can keep us sharp and protect against dementia and cognitive decline.

‘LCn3PUFA is also important for cardiovascular health, immune system and vision, and in my book that means it is essential for healthy ageing.’

Equazen produces a range of supplements containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are essential for brain function and development. For more information, click here.

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