Multivitamins May Help You and Your Brain

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According to a U.S. study, which is the first to show they may help aging brain function, a daily multivitamin and mineral pill may lessen the cognitive decline in older persons. The study, which included more than 2,200 individuals over 65, found that the most significant effects were shown in older persons with a history of cardiovascular illness. Daily doses may prevent cognitive decline by roughly 60%, or about two years, according to the study.

Although the results are encouraging, experts on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia warn that larger research is required to validate the benefit before daily multivitamins may be advised as a means of preventing older people from cognitive deterioration. Prior research on dietary supplements had no impact on the illness.

The study’s authors stated in Alzheimer’s and Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association provides the first evidence in a long-term, randomized controlled trial of older women and men that daily use of a safe, easily available, and reasonably priced multivitamin-mineral can improve cognition. This discovery may have significant effects on the resilience of the brain against future cognitive decline and public health implications for brain health.

Despite the fact that there are no medications that can treat any of the prevalent varieties of dementia, dementia has emerged as one of the major worldwide health challenges as populations throughout the world age. Around 850,000 people in the U.K. have dementia, the majority of whom have Alzheimer’s disease or “vascular dementia.” The most vulnerable groups include those over 65, as well as those with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and depression.

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Whether a daily cocoa extract or a multivitamin with minerals helped memory and other mental activities in 2,262 persons aged 65 and over was the subject of an investigation by researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Through tests involving word lists, math problems, verbal fluency, and story memory, the researchers evaluated the participants’ “global cognition” before and during the three-year trial.

The flavanol-rich components of the cocoa extract have previously been linked to positive effects on brain function. However, the most recent experiment discovered that daily cocoa supplementation had no impact on people’s cognitive function. However, daily multivitamin-mineral supplementation seemed to raise cognitive scores, particularly in people with cardiovascular disease, a recognized dementia risk factor. The researchers concluded that the findings either reflect better relative improvement or more protection from cardiovascular disease-related cognitive deterioration.

It is still too early to advise taking daily multivitamins to halt cognitive loss, according to Prof. Laura Baker of Wake Forest University, who is also the co-principal investigator of the Cosmos study. Although these early results are encouraging, more work in a bigger, more varied population is required. Additionally, more research is needed to clarify how taking a multivitamin might help older persons’ cognition.

Although the study was well-conducted, Prof. Tara Spires-Jones, group leader of the UK Dementia Research Institute at Edinburgh University, pointed out that the majority of participants were highly educated white adults. It will be crucial to verify that the findings remain true across a larger population, she added. It is unclear from this study if taking multivitamins can help prevent disorders like Alzheimer’s disease that influence cognition. Numerous dietary supplements have been tried as Alzheimer’s disease treatments, but none have been successful thus far.

This is the first encouraging, large-scale, long-term trial to suggest that multivitamin-mineral supplementation for older persons may delay cognitive aging, said Dr. Maria Carrillo, chief scientific officer at the Alzheimer’s Association. The results are encouraging for the Alzheimer’s Association, but we are not yet prepared to suggest that multivitamin supplements be widely used to lower the risk of cognitive deterioration in older persons. She continued, Larger, more diversified research populations require independent confirmatory investigations. Future treatments and preventative measures must be successful across all demographics.

Written By Dylan Santoyo


The Guardian: Daily multi-vitamins may improve brain function in older people – US study

New Scientist: A daily multivitamin could keep your memory sharp as you age

CNN: multivitamin and improved cognition in older adults

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