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Daily multivitamin use may slow cognitive aging in older adults – Neuroscience News

Summary: Researchers found significant cognitive benefits for older adults who took daily multivitamin and mineral supplements.

Source: Alzheimer Association

Alzheimer’s and dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association published “Effects of cocoa extract and a multivitamin on cognitive function: a randomized clinical trial”.

The three-year study of more than 2,200 seniors found that daily multivitamin and mineral supplementation resulted in a statistically significant cognitive benefit.

Cocoa extract had no effect on global cognition.

Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., Scientific Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, said of the study, “This is the first positive large-scale, long-term study to show that multivitamin and mineral supplementation for older adults can slow cognitive aging. Although the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraged by these findings, we are not prepared to recommend widespread use of a multivitamin supplement to reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older adults.

“Independent confirmatory studies are needed in larger and more diverse study populations. It is essential that future treatments and preventions are effective in all populations.

This is the first large-scale, long-term, positive study to show that multivitamin and mineral supplementation for older adults can slow cognitive aging. Image is in public domain

“For now, and until there is more data, people should talk with their healthcare providers about the benefits and risks of all food supplementsincluding multivitamins.

“We envision a future where there are multiple treatments and risk reduction strategies available that address cognitive aging and dementia in multiple ways – such as heart disease and cancer – and which can be combined into powerful combination therapies… in in conjunction with brain-healthy guidelines for lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity.

About this aging and cognition research news

Author: Erin Kohnke
Source: Alzheimer Association
Contact: Erin Kohnke – Alzheimer’s Association
Image: Image is in public domain

Original research: Free access.
“Effects of Cocoa Extract and a Multivitamin on Cognitive Function: A Randomized Clinical Trial” by Laura D. Baker et al. Alzheimer’s and dementia


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Effects of cocoa extract and a multivitamin on cognitive function: a randomized clinical trial


Dietary supplements are touted for cognitive protection, but the supporting evidence is mixed. COSMOS-Mind tested whether daily administration of cocoa extract (containing 500 mg/day of flavanols) versus placebo and a commercial mineral multivitamin (MVM) versus placebo improved cognition in women and men. elderly men.


COSMOS-Mind, a large 3-year paired randomized factorial trial, assessed cognition by telephone at baseline and annually. The primary outcome measure was an overall cognitive composite formed from standardized mean (z) scores (relative to baseline) of individual tests, including cognitive status telephone interview, word list, and story recall, creation of oral tracks, verbal fluency, number span, and number order. By intention to treat, the primary endpoint was change in this composite with 3 years of cocoa extract use. The pre-specified secondary endpoint was change in composite with 3 years of MVM supplementation. Treatment effects were also examined for composite scores of executive function and memory, and in predefined subgroups at higher risk of cognitive decline.


A total of 2262 participants were enrolled (mean age = 73 years; 60% female; 89% non-Hispanic Caucasian) and 92% completed baseline and at least one annual assessment. Cocoa extract had no effect on global cognition (mean z-score = 0.03, 95% CI: -0.02 to 0.08; P = 0.28). Daily MVM supplementation, compared to placebo, resulted in a statistically significant benefit on global cognition (mean z = 0.07, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.12; P = 0.007), and this effect was most pronounced in participants with a history of cardiovascular disease (no history: 0.06, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.11; the story: 0.14, 95% CI -0.02 to 0.31; interaction, nominal P = .01). Multivitamin-mineral benefits have also been observed for memory and executive function. The interaction between cocoa extract and MVM group was not significant for any of the cognitive composites.


Cocoa extract did not benefit cognition. However, COSMOS-Mind provides the first evidence from a large, long-term, pragmatic trial to support the potential efficacy of an MVM to improve cognition in older adults. Further work is needed to confirm these findings in a more diverse cohort and to identify mechanisms to account for the effects of MVM.

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