SEP 17, 2022 2:00 PM PDT

Daily Multivitamin May Slow Down Cognitive Decline in Older Adults

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Daily multivitamins may slow down cognitive decline among older adults. The corresponding study was published in Alzheimer's & Dementia

The Alzheimer's Association states that there are 6.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease and that 1 in 3 seniors die with the condition or another form of dementia. With dementia incidence expected to increase in the coming decades, there is an urgent need for safe and affordable intervention to protect against cognitive decline in older adults. 

Research suggests that cocoa extract- due to its high content of flavonols, may positively impact cognition. Other studies indicate that deficiencies in several micronutrients and minerals in older adults may increase the risk for cognitive decline, dementia, and general bodily function. 

With this in mind, the researchers behind the current study conducted a placebo-controlled trial to assess the effects of daily consumption of cocoa extract or a multivitamin-moneral. Altogether, they enrolled 2262 participants with a mean age of 73 years old. Participants answered tests over the phone to assess their memory and cognitive abilities at the beginning of the study and then once per year for three years. 

In the end, the researchers found that cocoa extract did not affect cognition. However, they found that multivitamin supplements reduced cognitive decline by around 60%- equivalent to 1.8 years. They noted that these benefits were particularly notable among those with cardiovascular disease- a risk factor for cognitive impairment and decline. 

"It's too early to recommend daily multivitamin supplementation to prevent cognitive decline," said Laura D. Baker, Ph.D., professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and co-principal investigator of the trial. "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."


Sources: Science Daily, Alzheimer's & Dementia


About the Author
Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
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