Findings recently published in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association found that a daily multivitamin could improve cognitive function and physical health for older adults.
According to Wake Forest University, researchers tested whether daily administration of cocoa extract versus placebo and a multivitamin-mineral versus placebo improved cognition in older adults. More than 2,000 of the participants were followed for three years.
“Our study showed that although cocoa extract did not affect cognition, daily multivitamin-mineral supplementation resulted in statistically significant cognitive improvement,” said Laura D. Baker, professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest University. “This is the first evidence of cognitive benefit in a large longer-term study of multivitamin supplementation in older adults.”
The research suggested that taking a multivitamin for three years slowed cognitive decline by 60%. The benefits were more pronounced in those with cardiovascular diseases, as they are at a higher risk of cognitive decline.
While the study is promising, more research is needed, Baker stressed.
“It’s too early to recommend daily multivitamin supplementation to prevent cognitive decline,” Baker said. “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.”
Baker said the research is needed as more than 120,000 Americans die a year from Alzheimer’s disease, which causes a loss of cognitive ability.