Taking multivitamins daily has become a popular way to maintain good health in recent times. Now, a new study shows that daily doses of multivitamins could slow cognitive decline by about two years among people aged 60 years and older.
In this study, researchers from Mass General Brigham examined the effects of daily multivitamins on cognitive changes in a study of 573 participants with in-person visits as well as through a meta-analysis of over 5,000 non-overlapping participants across three separate cognition studies. The findings showed that daily multivitamins slowed cognitive ageing by the equivalent of two years compared to placebo, the university’s press statement revealed.
“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 ageing,” first author Chirag Vyas said in the statement.
The three separate cognition studies provide “strong and consistent evidence” that taking a daily multivitamin, comprising more than 20 essential micronutrients, can help prevent memory loss and slow down cognitive ageing, Vyas added. The study has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
According to the researchers, these findings show that multivitamins could be a safe, accessible and affordable method to protect cognitive health in older adults. Although the findings are not enough to prove the direct impact of multivitamins, it's large enough to indicate that certain supplements can offer important health benefits – which previous research hasn't really demonstrated, Science Direct explained.
Epidemiologist Howard Sesso said it is now “critical to understand the mechanisms by which a daily multivitamin may protect against memory loss and cognitive decline with a focus on nutritional status and other ageing-related factors.”
Previous studies have also looked into the link between multivitamins and memory. For instance, a May 2023 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that multivitamins may boost memory function in some people, by the equivalent of three years of normal, age-related memory loss. The study also showed that memory improvement was more pronounced in people with heart disease.
However, it's important to keep in mind that taking dietary supplements such as multivitamins without understanding what one's body needs could be harmful in the long run.