IResearchers say that taking multivitamins can greatly improve cognitive functioning in older adults. What’s more, they suggest the benefits may be even greater for people with a history of cardiovascular disease.
The team was made up of researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, who collaborated with scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The results were published in the scientific journal Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Together, they examined the cognitive functioning of older adults who took a multivitamin, cocoa extract supplement, or placebo daily for three years. Nobody, not even the investigators, knew who had taken what, this information was revealed only at the end of the study.
With this analysis, the researchers found that people who took the multivitamin for three years were able to slow cognitive aging by 1.8 years, or 60%, compared to participants who took the placebo. Cocoa extract supplements had no impact.
The team suggests that these findings could be related to how multivitamins benefit people who are deficient in micronutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. Something that happens because, in general, older people do not have a very varied and nutrient-rich diet.
The researchers were hoping to get good results from the cocoa supplement, says CNN International, so they were shocked when they realized the multivitamin had more benefits.
Additionally, Laura Baker, researcher and lead author of the study, told CNN that these findings are exciting because multivitamins could become a “simple, affordable, safe and inexpensive intervention with the potential to provide a layer of protection.” against cognitive decline.
Despite the positive news, the scientist adds that the team is not yet ready to recommend that older people start taking multivitamins immediately. Therefore, more research is needed on the subject.