Taking a multivitamin every day can slow an older person’s cognitive decline by about 60 percent, a study has suggested.
Researchers from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who conducted the three-year study, said the pills likely helped because they prevented deficiencies in nutrients such as vitamin D and zinc — vital to brain health.
It was the first large-scale study to suggest that multivitamins may protect the brain in old age, but the scientists admitted that more research is needed before recommending that older adults start taking the pills on a daily basis.
Manufacturers and some scientists have been proclaiming the benefits of supplements for years, with the market valued at $50 billion a year in North America alone. Estimates suggest that about 31 percent of Americans already thought they were at risk for at least one vitamin deficiency.
But the jury is still out on whether the tablets can benefit brain health. Some experts call them a “huge waste of money,” while someone warned earlier this month that some could even cause heart problems in people in their 20s.
Scientists at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina looked at taking cocoa or multivitamin supplements for three years. They found that those given multivitamins had a slower mental decline than others (file photo)
The above shows the multivitamin supplement (left) and cocoa supplement (right) given to each participant once a day
In the study, published Wednesday in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Associationresearchers recruited 2,000 people over the age of 65 who had no history of other medical conditions and were not taking supplements.
The participants had an average BMI of 28, which classifies them as overweight but not obese.
They were divided into four groups and asked to either take multivitamins once a day, take a cocoa tablet daily, or avoid supplements.
People who got the multivitamin got the Centrum Silver pill, made by Haleon, selling for about 19 cents a pill. It is aimed at people over 50 and contains nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium and zinc, which are believed to support brain function.
Those who got cocoa got supplements from CocoaVia, owned by chocolate giant Mars, selling for about 66 cents a pill. It contains flavonols, which have been shown to reduce inflammation to help protect brain health.
Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D3 are NOT elixirs of youth: study finds
Taking vitamin D3 and Omega-3 fatty acid pills every day won’t stop older adults from suffering from inflammation and becoming weak, a study found yesterday.
Scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts, behind the five-year study urged Americans over 50 to drop the “unnecessary” pills on Tuesday and instead focus on exercise and the Mediterranean diet to improve their health. to protect health.
Herbal medicine vendors claim the supplements — sold by a $1.05 billion industry — could help reduce inflammation and slow age-related muscle loss, major frailty risks. But the scientific evidence for this is patchy, with the latest papers suggesting they have little benefit.
dr. Ariela Orkaby, an aging expert who led the study, said today: “We should consider cutting out unnecessary pills and promoting healthy lifestyle habits instead.
“Regular exercise and the Mediterranean diet are proven strategies for preventing frailty and should be encouraged for all older adults.”
dr. JoAnn Manson, an epidemiologist also involved in the study, added: “These new findings from VITAL are an important reminder that nutritional supplements are not miracle pills or elixirs of youth.”
Each had their mental capacity measured through telephone interviews at the start of the study, and once a year for three years during the follow-up.
The results showed it improved for all groups over the first two years, which the scientists said was likely because they had become accustomed to the tests.
But by the third year, there was an improvement only for the multivitamin group.
The study also found that daily cocoa tablets did not help slow the rate of cognitive decline.
The scientists said it was significantly better than those in the placebo group they were compared to, which received no supplements.
They estimated that it slowed aging in the brain by about 60 percent compared to those who received no supplements, which was equivalent to saving nearly two years.
This was especially pronounced in participants with cardiovascular disease, they said, who are already at higher risk for cognitive decline.
dr. Laura Baker, an aging expert who led the study, said: “Our study showed that … daily multivitamin mineral supplementation resulted in statistically significant cognitive improvement.
‘[But] it’s too soon to recommend daily multivitamin supplements to prevent cognitive decline.
‘While these preliminary findings are promising, additional research is needed in a larger and more diverse group of people.
“We also have work to do to better understand why the multivitamin might benefit cognition in older adults.”
Earlier this month, experts spoke about over-the-counter vitamins and said that while there was little evidence they caused direct harm, they may delay people from seeing medical treatment.
dr. Douglas Scharre, a neurologist at Ohio State University, said: UPIA: ‘People have been using supplements to boost memory for hundreds of years, and some are so common that you can find them for sale in a supermarket.
“The truth is that these products may provide some benefit for some people, but not for most.”
dr. Sarah Lock, senior vice president of the AARP, added: “Brain health supplements appear to be a huge waste of money for the 25 percent of adults over 50 who use them.
“These people who take these pills are spending between $20 and $60 a month flushing dollars down the toilet that could be better spent on things that actually improve their brain health.”
A study published earlier this month also found that the pills can cause heart rhythm problems in people in their 20s.
Dr Danielle Belardo, a cardiologist in California, told: Insider they were the most common reason people came to her clinic.
She said this was likely due to the poor regulation surrounding their formulation and efficacy, leaving them with little literature revealing what could be causing it.