Taking a multi vitamin daily improves memory

In a formal-analysis of 5,000 participants, including more than 500 in-person assessments over two years, multivitamins showed benefits for memory and cognition.

| 26 Jan 2024 | 12:16

By 2060, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, nearly one in four Americans will be in an age bracket at elevated risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease unless interventions can help preserve cognitive function before deficits begin.

A large-scale, nationwide, randomized trial directed by researchers at Mass General Brigham rigorously tested multivitamin supplements. Two previously published studies suggested a positive effect for a daily multivitamin.

The COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) researchers now report the results of a third study of cognition in which focused on participants who underwent in-person assessments, together with the results of a combined analysis from the three separate studies. The results from this latest report confirm consistent and statistically significant benefits of a daily multivitamin versus placebo for both memory and global cognition.

Investigators observed a modest benefit for the multivitamin, compared to placebo, on global cognition over two years. There was a statistically significant benefit of multivitamin supplementation for change in episodic memory, but not in executive function/attention.

“Cognitive decline is among the top health concerns for most older adults, and a daily supplement of multivitamins has the potential as an appealing and accessible approach to slow cognitive aging,” said first author Chirag Vyas, MBBS, MPH, instructor in investigation at the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system.

Vyas said, “The meta-analysis of three separate cognition studies provides strong and consistent evidence that taking a daily multivitamin, containing more than 20 essential micronutrients, helps prevent memory loss and slow down cognitive aging.” Olivia Okereke, MD SM, senior author of the report and director of Geriatric Psychiatry at MGH, added “These findings will garner attention among many older adults who are, understandably, very interested in ways to preserve brain health, as they provide evidence for the role of a daily multivitamin in supporting better cognitive aging.”

Courtesy of Mass General Brigham

Key Takeaways
• Researchers from Mass General Brigham tested the effects of a daily multivitamin on cognitive changes in a study of 573 participants.
• The researchers also conducted an analysis among over 5,000 participants across the three separate cognition studies.
• Results showed a statistically significant benefit for cognition among participants taking the multi-vitamin compared to placebo, suggesting that a multi-vitamin could help prevent memory loss and slow cognitive aging among older adults.