Multivitamins may help slow memory loss in older adults: Study
A daily multivitamin — an inexpensive, over-the-counter nutritional supplement — may help slow memory loss in people ages 60 and older, a large nationwide clinical trial suggests.
The research, a collaboration between scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Columbia University, appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on Wednesday.
It was the second such multivitamin clinical study within the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) — a larger body of research examining the health effects of certain dietary supplements — to reach the same conclusion.
The most recent study found that those taking multivitamins showed an estimated 3.1 fewer years of memory loss compared with a control group who took a placebo. Put another way, the multivitamin group was an estimated 3.1 years “younger” in terms of their memory function than the placebo group.
“Older adults are very concerned about preserving cognition and memory, so this is a very important finding,” said JoAnn Manson, chief of Brigham’s division of preventive medicine and co-leader of the study with Howard Sesso, associate director of the division.
“They are looking for safe and effective prevention strategies. The fact that two separate studies came to similar conclusions is remarkable.”
Manson, also a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, described the effect of the supplements as “substantial.”
She stressed, however, that a dietary supplement “will never be a substitute for a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.”
The study used a commonly available multivitamin — Centrum Silver — but “we think any high-quality multivitamin is likely to convey similar results,” Manson said. Centrum Silver contains vitamins D, A and B12, thiamine, riboflavin and manganese, among other substances.
Source: The Washington Post