Cognitive aging is one of the biggest concerns of seniors. A study now shows that a simple remedy can slow down the aging of the brain.
New York (United States). As people get older, their memory capacity decreases significantly. Columbia University researchers led by Adam M. Brickman have now investigated whether taking a multivitamin tablet daily can significantly reduce age-related memory loss. Studies examining the effects of multivitamin tablets on memory and brain function have previously provided inconsistent results. In addition, only a few large-scale, randomized studies have been carried out in this area.
According to the publication in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study involved over 3,500 seniors aged 60 and older. They received either a daily multivitamin or a placebo for a period of three years. Analysis of the results showed that the participants who took the multivitamin showed an improvement in memory performance that was equivalent to a three-year delay in age-related memory loss.
“Cognitive aging is one of the biggest health concerns for older adults, and this study suggests there may be a simple, inexpensive way to help older people slow memory loss.”
Cognitive performance assessed
Subjects completed a series of online cognitive tests at home each year aimed at assessing the memory function of the hippocampus, an area of the brain affected by normal aging. By the end of the first year, people taking a daily multivitamin were seeing an improvement in memory compared to those taking a placebo.
The scientists estimate that the improvement, which lasted throughout the three-year study period, is equivalent to about three years of age-related memory loss. The effect was even more pronounced in participants with underlying cardiovascular disease.
The results of the new study align with another recent COSMOS study of over 2,200 older adults, which found that taking a daily multivitamin improved overall cognition, memory recall and attention skills. These effects were also greater in those with underlying cardiovascular disease.
“There is evidence that people with cardiovascular disease may have lower micronutrient levels that multivitamins could correct, but we don’t really know at this time why the effect is greater in this group.”
Good nutrition maintains brain function and memory
Although the researchers did not examine whether any specific component of the multivitamin supplement was associated with improving memory, the results support the growing body of evidence that diet is important in optimizing brain health as we age .