The 'Forgetful Fifties'

3 August 2011

Almost three quarters (71.3%) of over 50s have admitted to regular short-term memory issues, such as walking into rooms and forgetting why, and over half have admitted to avoiding addressing friends or family by name as they couldn’t remember what it was, a new study by omega-3 fish oil supplement, Efalex Active 50+, has revealed. 

Research also exposed how health is high on the agenda for the over ‘50’s with over half (51%) confessing to worrying about their general health more than any other single issue – including money and the welfare of their families.

The survey of 5,000 consumers (of which 1,000 were over 50) also revealed that a quarter had forgotten where they have parked their car. However it seems this age group is also the most honest about their memory lapses – only 8% lie to cover up a forgotten fact, compared to 27% of their younger 18-24 year old counterparts.

While overall reduced cognitive function is a natural part of the aging process, forgetfulness can also be a sign of something more serious. Problems such as frequent repetition of questions or comments, difficulty remembering things that happened yesterday, or being unable to follow simple instructions such as recipes may suggest more serious memory  issues which should be discussed with a GP.   
For general forgetfulness, good nutrition and exercise can significantly help maintain and improve cognitive function, with fish oils providing omega-3 nutrients key to the building blocks of the brain. A recently published study found that 24 weeks supplementation with DHA improved learning and memory function in age-related cognitive decline and is a beneficial supplement that supports cognitive health with ageing . Furthermore, clinical studies show that supplementation can help improve memory, learning, concentration, word skills and mood .  

Nancy Morse, Senior Scientific Officer at Efamol explains: “Good nutrition, in particular fish oil components such as DHA, is vital for cognitive function. In the UK, we currently consume less than half the suggested daily intake of DHA and research has shown that people with lower than normal levels of DHA have a greater tendency to experience memory problems as they age .” 

“The ingredients in Efalex Active 50+ have been thoroughly researched and found to benefit those over 50 who wish to preserve an active mind.  Recent research verifies that omega-3 supplementation delays the rate of cognitive decline in patients.”

Efalex Active 50+ is the first fish oil supplement developed specifically for the over 50’s, containing a unique combination of ingredients, including high quality fish oils, ginkgo biloba, vitamin B12 and folic acid, all known for their beneficial role in maintaining healthy brain function and performance. Efamol’s Efalex Active 50+ is available from Boots and Waitrose priced £9.49 for 30 capsules. Efamol’s scientifically proven omega-3 and omega-6 based supplements offer brain nutrition for the entire family. 

Notes to editors:  
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is another structural component of our brains which depletes as we grow older.  This may hinder the way messages are passed between nerve cells, because PS is the substance that holds cell membranes in their proper position to receive nerve impulses travelling between cells.  Clinical studies show that supplementation can substantially improve memory, learning, concentration, word skills and mood.  

Ginkgo biloba is a herbal ingredient believed to help maintain memory in the short term.  It has been tested in relation to various types of dementia and results show that it can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in elderly women. 
Vitamin B12 and folic acid work together to ensure a healthy supply of blood to the brain which in turn provides the brain with oxygen and essential nutrients.  

Research shows that healthy ageing women have achieved improvements in memory, reasoning, verbal ability and mood through supplementation. 



Yurko-Mauro K, McCarthy D, Rom D, Nelson EB, Ryan AS, Blackwell A, Salem N Jr, Stedman M, on behalf of the MIDAS Investigators. Beneficial effects of docosahexaenoic acid on cognition in age-related cognitive decline. Alzheimers Dement 2010 Apr 29 [Epub ahead of print] doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2010.01.013.

Crook TH, Tinklenberg, Yesavage J, Petrie W, Nunzi MG, Massari DC. Effects of phosphatidylserine in age-associated memory impairment. Neurology 1991;41(5):644-9.  

Andrieu S, Gillette S, Amouyal K, Nourhashemi F, Reynish E et al. Association of Alzheimer’s disease onset with Ginkgo biloba and other symptomatic cognitive treatments in a population of women aged 75 years and older from the EPIDOS study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2003 Apr;58(4):372-7.  Duthie SJ et al.

Homocysteine, B vitamin status and cognitive function in the elderly. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;75:908-13.



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