Daily multivitamin may help slow cognitive decline, new research finds

Ready made/Pexels

A recent study found that daily supplements were associated with improved cognition in older adults.

The research, published in the journal, Alzheimer’s & Dementia, was led by Laura Baker, PhD, and Mark Espeland, PhD, both professors of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. For this study, Baker and Espeland analyzed the effects of both a daily administration of cocoa extract and a commercial multivitamin-mineral on cognition.

The study involved 2,262 participants aged 65 and older. Researchers split the participants into three groups. The first group took a daily multivitamin, the next group took a daily cocoa extract supplement, which contain compounds called flavanols, believed to support cognition, and the final group received a daily placebo pill. Participants were followed for three years. Researchers conducted individual tests through phone interviews throughout the trial period.

The study found, compared to participants who received a placebo, those who took the daily multivitamin had significant benefits to their global cognition. The research also indicated that these benefits were more pronounced for those who had a history of cardiovascular disease. In addition, participants who took the multivitamin showed improvements in memory and executive function. The cocoa extract group demonstrated no significant improvements to their cognition compared to the placebo group.

According to the study’s researchers, these results suggest that multivitamins may have beneficial, long-term effects on cognition. The researchers estimated that three years of multivitamin supplementation slowed cognitive decline by 60 percent.

“It’s too early to recommend daily multivitamin supplementation to prevent cognitive decline,” Baker said in a statement. “While these preliminary findings are promising, additional research is needed in a larger and more diverse group of people. Also, we still have work to do to better understand why the multivitamin might benefit cognition in older adults.”