The pathogenic mechanism of dementia is still unknown, and the fundamental treatment remains to be established. Thus, there is growing interest in preventing dementia through diet. One of the functional ingredients attracting attention is docosahexaenoic acid. We conducted a 12-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in healthy elderly Japanese individuals with a Mini-Mental State Examination score of 28 or higher at baseline using a docosahexaenoic acid-enriched milk beverage containing 297 mg docosahexaenoic acid and 137 mg eicosapentaenoic acid. Consumption of a docosahexaenoic acid-enriched milk beverage increased the fatty acid levels of docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid in erythrocyte membranes, which was the primary outcome of this study. Moreover, intake of this beverage prevented age-related cognitive decline and decreased serum bone resorption marker levels. Our data demonstrate that, even at a low dose, long-term daily intake of docosahexaenoic acid prevents dementia and may show beneficial effect on bone health.

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