New Science Says The #1 Reason To Take A Multivitamin—Eat This, Not That

Taking a daily multivitamin can slow cognitive decline by up to 60% for people over 65, according to new research from Wake Forest University in North Carolina and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “We provide the first evidence in a long-term, randomized controlled trial of older women and men that daily use of a safe, easily accessible, and low-cost multivitamin-mineral can improve cognition.” Researchers have written Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. “This finding may have important public health implications for brain health and resilience against future cognitive decline.” Here’s what the researchers discovered. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t forget to check out these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID,

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The researchers wanted to compare the mental and cognitive benefits of a multivitamin with either daily cocoa extracts or minerals on 2,262 people aged 65 and older. The three-year trial used word lists, verbal fluency, story recall, and number problems to track participants’ “global cognition.” The results showed that the participants who had the most significant memory problems at the start of the trial showed the most improvement.

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Trial results showed that while cocoa supplements made no effect on cognitive function, multivitamins appeared to improve cognitive scores—particularly for people with heart disease, which is strongly linked to dementia. “It is well known that those with cardiovascular risk factors can lead to low levels in the blood of vitamins and minerals. So supplementation with those vitamins and minerals can improve cardiovascular health and, based on this, improve cognitive health – And we know there is a strong link between heart health and brain health.” Keith Vosel, MD, MSc saysProfessor of Neurology and director of the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Care at the University of California, Los Angeles.


“I have to use the word ‘shocked.’ We really believed that cocoa extract would have some benefits for cognition based on prior reports of cardiovascular benefits.” Laura Baker, PhD says, co-principal investigator on cosmological studies at Wake Forest University. “So we look forward to that big reveal in our data analysis – and it was not the cocoa extract that benefited cognition, but the multivitamin. We are excited because our findings have opened a new avenue for investigation – a For simple, accessible, safe, inexpensive interventions that may have the potential to provide a layer of protection against cognitive decline.”


The researchers want to explore these findings further, and use a more diverse group of people for future trials. “While these preliminary findings are promising, additional research is needed in a larger and more diverse group of people,” Dr. Baker says, “In addition, we still have work to do to understand why a multivitamin may benefit cognition in older adults.”

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“This is the first positive, large-scale, long-term study to show that multivitamin-mineral supplementation for older adults can slow cognitive aging,” Dr Maria Carrillo says, chief scientific officer of the Alzheimer’s Association. “Although the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraged by these results, we are not prepared to recommend the widespread use of multivitamin supplementation to reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older adults. Independent confirmatory studies in larger, more diverse study populations are needed. It is important that future treatments and prevention are effective in all populations.”

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According to the CDC, 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2020, and the number of people living with the disease doubles every 5 years after age 65. The agency estimates that 14 million people will have Alzheimer’s by 2060. Safe and affordable interventions are needed to protect cognition against decline in older adults.” Dr. Baker says,

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Firozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more about Turquoise

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