"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Multivitamins slow cognitive aging in seniors, one other study shows

January 19, 2024 – Three latest studies show that taking each day multivitamins slows cognitive aging by about two years in older adults.

In the most recent study, published Thursday in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Researchers personally observed and tested 573 adults ages 60 and older. In the previous two studies, people participating within the study responded by phone or online. A complete of around 5,000 people took part within the three studies.

The in-person study showed that the multivitamin provided a “modest benefit” on global cognition in comparison with a placebo over a two-year period. Global cognition includes brain activities resembling considering, attention and planning. The multivitamin showed “statistically significant benefit” for episodic memory, but not executive function and a focus, a news release said.

The researchers' evaluation of the three studies “showed strong evidence of benefits for both global cognition and episodic memory.” “The authors estimate that daily multivitamin supplementation reduced global cognitive aging by the equivalent of 1,000 compared to placebo slowed down for two years,” according to the study release said. (Cognitive aging is a change in mental functions such as learning, thinking, and memory that occurs with increasing age.)

The studies are part of the nationwide COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS), which is also examining whether cocoa extract could protect people from heart disease and cancer, NBC News reported. COSMOS is a collaboration between Mass General Brigham, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Columbia University and Wake Forest University.

The pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which makes the multivitamin Centrum Silver, provided the multivitamins and the placebo pills. Candy company Mars Inc. partially funded the study.

The studies did not specify which vitamins and minerals were responsible for slowing memory loss.

“Future studies are needed to discover the particular micronutrients that contribute most to cognitive advantages,” lead creator Chirag Vyas, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham Health System, told NBC News.

NBC News noted that more diversity is required in future studies because the general public within the COSMOS study were white.