Memory and thinking skills tend to deteriorate with age. Certain lifestyle factors, such as a healthy diet, physical activity, and social interaction, can help protect cognitive health as you age. Some research suggests that taking multivitamins or other nutritional supplements can help protect thinking and memory. But few large-scale studies have directly examined how nutritional supplements affect the cognitive health of older people. Clinical trials to date have shown mixed results.
At the end of the first year, those who took the daily multivitamin scored significantly higher on an immediate recall test compared to the placebo group. The test involves looking at a series of 20 words one at a time for three seconds each. Immediately afterwards, people were asked to enter as many words as they could remember.
In the multivitamin group, results improved from an average of 7.1 words to 7.8 words after the first year. In comparison, the placebo group’s score increased from about 7.2 words to about 7.6 words. In the second and third years of the study, performance in the multivitamin group continued to improve, but not significantly compared to the placebo group. Other types of cognitive tests did not reveal significant differences between the groups.
Notably, participants with a history of CVD had lower rates of immediate recall at baseline compared to participants without a history of CVD. But after a year of taking a multivitamin, people with cardiovascular disease significantly improved their performance, comparable to those without cardiovascular disease.
These results complement those of a related study supported by the National Institutes of Health, published last year. A study of over 2,200 people aged 65 and over found that taking a daily multivitamin improved a wide range of cognitive functions. Improvements were also more pronounced in those with a history of cardiovascular disease.
“There is evidence that people with cardiovascular disease may have lower micronutrient levels that can be corrected with a multivitamin, but at this point we don’t know why the effect is stronger in this group,” Bu explained. Rickman.
“Cognitive aging is a major health issue for older adults, and this study suggests that there may be an easy and inexpensive way to help older people slow down memory decline,” he added.
Further research is needed to study more diverse populations and determine which nutrients may play a role in memory protection.
Post time: Aug-31-2023