A daily multivitamin — an inexpensive, over-the-counter nutritional supplement — may help with memory loss in people age 60 and older, a large national clinical trial suggests.
It was the second such multivitamin clinical study Cocoa Supplementation and Multivitamin Effects Study (COSMOS) – A large body of research examining the health effects of certain dietary supplements – came to the same conclusion.
A more recent study found that people who took a multivitamin had an estimated 3.1 fewer years of memory loss compared to a control group who took a placebo. In other words, the multivitamin group was estimated to be 3.1 years “younger” than the placebo group in terms of their memory function.
“Elderly people are very concerned about preserving knowledge and memory, so this is a very important finding,” he said. Joan MansonHead of Brigham’s Department of Preventive Medicine and co-leader of the study Howard SexAssociate Director of the department. “They’re looking for safer and more effective prevention methods. It’s amazing that two different studies have come to the same conclusion.”
Manson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, described the effects of the supplements as “significant.”
However, she explained that nutritional supplements “can never replace a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.”
The study used a commonly available multivitamin — Centrum Silver — but we believe any high-quality multivitamin can convey similar results, Manson said. The center also contains silver Vitamins D, A and B12, thiamine, riboflavin and manganese, among other substances.
Manson and Sesso received grants for their institute from Mars Edge, a division of the food company Mars that focuses on nutrition research and manufactures dietary supplement Cocoavia. Several of the study’s 10 authors also reported financial support from the National Institutes of Health.
Mars Edge and Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (now Haleon), maker of Centrum Silver, donated multivitamin and placebo tablets and packaging. Cosmos is also supported by NIH grants.
In addition, Seso from supplements company Pure Encapsulation and biopharmaceutical company Pfizer, and honorary or travel support lectures from the trade group for the dietary supplement industry, the Council on Responsible Nutrition; Chemical company, BASF; NIH; and the Nutrition Research Focus Group, American Dietetic Association.
Multivitamins are already popular among older Americans; 39 percent of adults age 60 and older According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, take a multivitamin. US sales of multivitamins and multivitamins with minerals overall 8 billion dollars in 2020According to the NIH.
The memory benefits of multivitamins last for three years
The final trial involved more than 3,500 participants aged 60 and older who completed a web-based memory and cognition assessment over three years. The tasks were word recall and novel object recognition and a measure of executive control.
Compared to a placebo group, participants randomized to the multivitamin supplement improved immediate word recall after one year, and that benefit was sustained for an additional two years, the study found.
But the study found that multivitamin use “did not significantly alter memory retention, executive function, or novelty recognition” compared to placebo use.
The findings that multivitamin use can help memory and curiosity are especially important because the brain, like the rest of the body, needs nutrients to function optimally and can suffer cognitively without them, brain health experts said.
“This study is amazing,” said Andrew Budson, professor of neurology at Boston University and director of cognitive-behavioral neurology at the VA Boston Healthcare System, who was not involved in the research.
Low levels of vitamin B1 – also known as thiamine – B12 and D have been linked to cognitive decline, he said. “It’s exciting that a simple multivitamin can reduce cognitive decline in normal aging, because it’s something almost everyone can do,” Budson said.
Paul E. SchulzProfessor of Neurology and Director of the Center for Neurocognitive Disorders at the McGovern School of Medicine at UTHealth Houston, the brain needs many vitamins and minerals to function properly. “Think of a complicated engine that needs a lot of special parts and all of them,” said Schulz, who wasn’t part of the study. “We regularly see people with cognitive disabilities.”
Slowing down the speed of cognitive aging
The former ResearchThe study, conducted by scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Wake Forest University School of Medicine, appears in the fall issue of the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It reduced cognitive aging by 60 percent among people taking the multivitamin compared to the placebo group.
The two studies were independent of each other and had different designs. But, significantly, they were both Randomized placebo-controlled clinical trialsThe “gold standard” of research to determine the effectiveness of a drug or drug treatment – directly linking cause and effect.
“This is probably the best evidence for taking a multivitamin,” he said Donald Hensrud, a specialist in nutrition at the Mayo Clinic, who was not involved in the research. “Randomized Controlled Trial – A Good Study.”
Interestingly, both studies showed that the participants who benefited the most were those with a history of cardiovascular disease, the researchers said.
“It’s surprising because this same finding was repeated in two studies with different designs and no overlapping participants,” Manson said, noting that at the beginning of the study, people with heart disease might have a lower nutritional level. “They may have started at a lower level, so the improvements may be more noticeable,” she said.
In the COSMOS trial, which included several studies, side effects of multivitamin use were lower compared to placebo, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, skin rash, and bruising, but increased gastrointestinal bleeding.
Future research on multivitamins
The study population consisted of people of different race, ethnicity, educational level, socioeconomic status, and family income. “But as with volunteers in any randomized clinical trial, the participants were less educated, had a slightly higher socioeconomic status, and were less diverse than a group of US adults in this age group,” Manson said. .
According to the researchers, future studies should verify whether the findings are applicable to different participants, including those with a low educational level and socioeconomic status, because “the benefits may be greater in populations with low income and low quality of nutrition,” Manson said.
Further studies should try to identify the nutrients that provide the most benefits, as well as the specific mechanisms involved, the researchers said.
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