A study suggests a potential link between daily multivitamins and improved cognition in older adults

Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston analyzed the cognitive perform of older adults who took cocoa extract, a multivitamin or a placebo daily for 3 years. (GetFocusStudio, Shutterstock)

Estimated studying time: 5-6 minutes

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Taking a daily multivitamin could also be linked to improved mind perform in older adults, with a new study suggesting the advantages are higher for individuals with heart problems.

The findings did not shock the researchers, however quite stunned them, mentioned study writer Laura Baker, a professor of gerontology and geriatric medication at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

“I must use the phrase ‘shocked,'” Baker mentioned.

Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, analyzed cognitive perform in older adults assigned to take flavonoid-containing cocoa extract dietary supplements, multivitamins, or placebos each three days. a yr. No one, not even the researchers, knew who was assigned to which agenda till the outcomes had been revealed.

“We actually believed that cocoa extract may need some cognitive profit based mostly on prior experiences of cardiovascular advantages. So we’re ready for that massive discovery in the information evaluation — and that cocoa extract is not cognitive, it is a multivitamin,” Baker mentioned. mentioned. “We are excited as a result of our findings open a new avenue of analysis — for a easy, accessible, secure, low-cost intervention which will present a layer of safety in opposition to cognitive decline.”

But he added that he and his crew aren’t able to advocate that older adults instantly add a daily multivitamin based mostly on these outcomes.

The findings, revealed Wednesday in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, are imprecise and can’t be generalized to the general public. Further analysis is required to substantiate them.

“It’s too early to make any suggestions,” Baker mentioned. “I feel we should always try this in one other study.”

Finding connections to mind well being

The new study included 2,262 individuals aged 65 and older who had been enrolled for 3 years between August 2016 and August 2017. Participants accomplished annual phone exams to evaluate cognitive perform. They scored on story recall, verbal fluency, and quantity ordering, amongst different exams.

Researchers in contrast daily cocoa extract with placebo and analyzed perform based mostly on check scores amongst these taking a daily multivitamin in contrast with placebo.

Researchers discovered that taking multivitamins for 3 years slowed cognitive ageing by 1.8 years, or 60%, in comparison with a placebo. Daily cocoa extract supplementation for 3 years didn’t have an effect on cognitive perform, the researchers wrote.

The study — supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging — additionally discovered that multivitamins had been most helpful for older adults with heart problems.

“People with cardiovascular threat components are identified to have decrease ranges of nutritional vitamins and minerals in their blood. So supplementing with these nutritional vitamins and minerals improves cardiovascular well being and, in flip, cognitive well being—and we all know. With cardiovascular well being A robust link between mind well being,” mentioned Dr. Kate Vossel, professor of neurology and the Mary S. Director of the Easton Center, Los Angeles.

Because of the link between cardiovascular and mind well being, taking steps to stop heart problems or different continual ailments — akin to consuming a nutritious diet and exercising — may additionally profit the mind, mentioned Vossel, who was not concerned in the brand new study.

“If we may actually get rid of or actually stop continual ailments, we may stop dementia,” he mentioned. “Approximately 40% of dementia is preventable with higher preventative measures over the course of a lifetime.”

The particular components driving this link between multivitamins and cognitive perform are unclear and require extra analysis, however Baker and his crew assume the findings may assist individuals who lack micronutrients like vitamin C and vitamin E profit from multivitamins. , magnesium or zinc.

“It can worsen as you get older. Many of our seniors do not get sufficient vitamin for a variety of causes,” Baker mentioned.

“As we get older, we now have extra medical circumstances that may compromise micronutrient deficiencies,” he mentioned. “The medicines we take for these circumstances can intervene with the physique’s capacity to soak up these important vitamins from the food plan, and also can contribute to micronutrient deficiencies.”

“We’ve been down this highway a whereas in the past”

Other research have had blended outcomes on the link between sure nutritional vitamins and dietary supplements and dementia threat, Vossel cautioned.

“We’ve been down this highway a whereas again with analysis on nutritional vitamins and dementia. For years, dementia specialists have been recommending vitamin E based mostly on early promising outcomes for vitamin E and cognition, significantly in Alzheimer’s sufferers. But since then, the outcomes have been blended. Vossel mentioned.

He added that seniors ought to discuss to their main care doctor earlier than beginning a vitamin or complement routine.

“Supplementation is mostly secure, nevertheless it ought to be fastidiously monitored, particularly in individuals with reminiscence loss, as a result of taking too many nutritional vitamins might be harmful,” Vossel mentioned. “The threat of bleeding may also be elevated with an overdose of vitamin E or taking excessive ranges of vitamin E. So these are some conditions.”

Overall, the brand new study’s findings are encouraging, mentioned Heather Snyder, Alzheimer’s Association vp of medical and scientific communications.

“Obviously, there’s additional work we have to see — particularly unbiased validation in research with bigger and extra numerous populations — nevertheless it’s encouraging,” he mentioned. “More analysis is required to grasp the advantages of multivitamins.”

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