Paper Authors and Title

Susannah McDonagh (Atlantic Technological University), Paula Conroy, “A Study Assessing Omega 3 Intake in Vegans/Vegetarians for Cognitive Health”


Over the years, vegan and vegetarian diets have increased in popularity. These diets tend to lack omega 3 as well as B12 and iron which can also affect cognitive health. The main aims were to investigate if cognitive health is associated with omega 3 intake, to get a greater insight into the intake, knowledge of omega 3 in these diets and the micronutrients that affect cognitive health that these diets tend to be deficient in.

Participants consisted of vegans (n=20) and vegetarians (n=12). Cognitive health was assessed using an adaptive version of the Beck’s Depression Inventory-II (BDI). Dietary intake was assessed using 2-day 24h recalls, was assessed in terms of omega 3, iron and B12 intake and were analysed using the nutrition software Nutritics.

The mean BDI scores were 7.4 ± 8.6 and the mean omega 3 intake were 2070.8 ± 1761.2mg. No significant relationship between omega 3 intakes and BDI scores was found (p=0.626), but vegans had a significantly higher omega 3 intake compared to vegetarians. Vitamin B12 and iron intakes were mainly below the RDA. Omega 3 knowledge rating was assessed on a scale of 1-10 and the mean knowledge rating was 5.7.

The results indicate that there’s no relationship between cognitive health and omega 3 intakes. Future studies should aim for a larger sample size and as there is a gap in the literature in relation to knowledge of omega 3 in these diets, future research should implement this type of question into their studies.


Download and view Susannah McDonagh’s poster.