Taking a daily multivitamin appears to significantly improve memory and cognition and slow age-related cognitive decline.
A new study involving experts from Harvard Medical School examined the effects of multivitamin-mineral supplementation on changes in cognitive functions to provide an informed assessment of such supplementation. The results are published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”.
What is COSMOS?
The COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) is a large-scale, nationwide, randomized study with over 21,000 participants testing cocoa extract and multivitamin supplements. The current research is the third investigation into cognitive functions that was carried out as part of the COSMOS study.
The two previously published studies both indicated a positive effect of taking a daily multivitamin tablet on cognition. The new study on cognition now focused on 573 participants who completed various cognitive tests while taking multivitamins.
The researchers also conducted a combined analysis of the three studies to validate the results.
According to the experts, it was shown that taking a multivitamin daily provided significant benefits for memory and cognition compared to people who did not take such supplements.
The researchers found a statistically significant benefit from taking multivitamins on changes in episodic memory, but not on executive function/attention.
The meta-analysis of the three studies, each with different participants who had taken a multivitamin preparation for two to three years, also showed significant benefits for cognition and episodic memory, the team reports.
According to the researchers, the three studies evaluated each used different approaches to assessing cognition, but all showed positive effects from taking a multivitamin preparation daily.
Nutritional status apparently plays an important role in protecting cognitive functions as we age, and daily intake of multivitamin preparations can slow cognitive aging overall by two years compared to taking a placebo, the researchers explain.
Prevents memory loss
“The meta-analysis of three separate cognition studies provides strong and consistent evidence that taking a daily multivitamin containing more than 20 essential micronutrients helps prevent memory loss and slow cognitive aging,” study author Chirag Vyas said in a press release ..
The study results are particularly interesting for older people who are trying to maintain the health of their brain as they age. It has been shown that taking a multivitamin daily is associated with improved cognitive aging.
According to the researchers, multivitamin supplements could be a safe, readily available and cost-effective approach to protecting cognitive health in older adults.
“Cognitive decline is a major health concern for most older adults, and daily multivitamin supplementation has the potential to be an attractive and accessible approach to slowing cognitive aging,” concludes Vyas. (as)