Daily Multivitamin May Improve Cognition, Protect Against Decline
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A new study suggests that taking a daily vitamin supplement may not only improve cognition in older adults, but may also dramatically slow cognitive decline.
The research was conducted by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
While the results are promising, the researchers said additional studies are needed to confirm these findings before any health recommendations are made.
The study, which was recently published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, also showed that daily use of a cocoa extract supplement does not benefit cognition.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and one in three seniors die with the disease or another form of dementia.
The Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study for the Mind was funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health as an ancillary study to the COSMOS trial led by Brigham and Women’s Hospital that randomized 21,442 men and women across the U.S.
The study investigated whether taking a daily cocoa extract supplement or a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement reduces the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, cancer and other health outcomes.
The researchers estimated that three years of multivitamin supplementation roughly translated to a 60% slowing of cognitive decline (about 1.8 years). The benefits were relatively more pronounced in participants with significant cardiovascular disease, which is important because these individuals are already at increased risk for cognitive impairment and decline.