- Some degree of age-related cognitive decline is common, but older adults are also at risk of developing cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
- Research is ongoing on the factors that influence cognitive health and what may help prevent or slow cognitive decline.
- A new study found that Multivitamin and mineral supplements Improvement of memory, executive function, and cognition among older adults who took a daily dose.
Older adults with cognitive decline are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other forms of dementia.
Experts are still working to understand the factors that affect cognitive function and the measures people can take to help prevent cognitive decline.
A study was published in
While the authors did not see improvements related to cocoa intake, they did find that taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement was associated with improved memory and executive function.
Many people suffer from a certain age level
But severe cognitive decline may lead to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, which involve significant changes in a person’s ability to remember or make judgments and affect their daily life.
We observe diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of
Dr. Austin Perlmutterinternist, author, senior director of science and clinical innovation at Big Bold Health, not involved in the study, explained to MNT:
Researchers tend to agree that aging is generally associated with changes in cognitive function. Arguably the most commonly discussed change in brain function associated with aging is the deterioration of long-term memory, where the general deterioration of memory is sometimes called part of “normal aging”.
More serious deterioration is associated with dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease. There is also work indicating a general decline in working memory (a temporary storage system in our brains that allows us to work with multiple pieces of information) in older adults as well as a relatively greater problem with multitasking.”
Experts are still working to understand the full impact of age-related changes. Research is also focused on preventive steps older adults can take to improve and maintain cognitive function.
For the study, researchers looked at how taking daily cocoa extract or a daily multivitamin and mineral (MVM) supplement affected cognitive function compared to a placebo.
The authors of this study conducted a randomized clinical trial involving more than 2,000 adults 65 years of age or older.
Participants had to meet specific eligibility criteria to be in the study. For example, they must not have a history of heart attack or suffer from a serious illness that prevents them from participating. They also cannot be allergic to cocoa products or caffeine.
The researchers laid a foundation for the participants’ cognitive function at the start of the study.
They also looked at participants’ ability to recall events and memories (episodic memory) and theirs
The results of the study showed that cocoa extract did not affect cognition. However, vitamin use has been associated with improved cognition, executive function, and episodic memory. Participants with cardiovascular disease saw the greatest benefit.
Study author Laura de BeckerMD, professor of geriatrics and geriatrics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, explained to MNT:
“Daily supplementation with multivitamins shows the potential to improve (or protect) cognitive abilities in the elderly. However, more work is needed before a broad recommendation can be made. Daily supplementation with vitamins has shown a relatively stronger benefit for adults with cardiovascular disease. Given Because only 10% of the sample (about 200 subjects) reported significant cardiovascular events (eg, stenting, congestive heart failure, angioplasty) at the time of their entry into the study, this finding should be replicated in a larger sample that includes a larger number of affected individuals. Cardiovascular disease and major blood vessels”.
Dr. Perlmutter also offered his thoughts:
“The positive association between multivitamin consumption and cognition versus placebo is remarkable, and although the overall data on multivitamins were less supportive of a clear net benefit in the general population, they provide some support for the idea of ensuring adequate levels of key micronutrients may be beneficial to brain health. Long-term in the elderly, especially those with pre-existing vascular disease.
Overall, the study results suggest that daily multivitamin intake is associated with improved cognitive function among older adults. However, the study had some limitations.
For example, the data relied on self-reports from participants, which can increase the risk of errors in data collection. Representation of certain races or ethnicities does not reflect the older American population. Therefore, study results cannot be generalized, and future studies will need to account for diversity.
In addition, the researchers were also unable to link cocoa with the cognitive benefits they observed. They also note that more research is needed to confirm the cognitive benefits of vitamins. Other limitations were related to specific data analyses.
d p. Baker indicated the following areas for further research MNT:
These findings point to a new avenue of investigation that we hope will identify an accessible, inexpensive, and safe intervention to provide a layer of protection against cognitive decline in older adults. The results should be replicated in a larger group that is more representative of US demographics (eg, only 11% of our group represents communities of color). We need to understand the mechanisms that may be responsible for the observed cognitive benefits of vitamins.”
However, the study offers encouragement because even simple changes can help improve health without many risks of side effects. As research progresses, we hope that recommendations for improving cognitive health will become clearer.
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