According to a study, taking a multivitamin supplement every day could help improve cognition in older individuals, but more research is required to verify these results before any health recommendations are made. The research also revealed that daily use of a cocoa extract supplement doesn’t benefit cognition.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
The study looked at whether taking a daily mineral/multivitamin supplement or supplementing with a cocoa extract every day reduces the risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease, and other health issues.
According to the researchers, cocoa extract is full of compounds known as flavanols, and past studies suggest that these compounds could positively affect cognition. They also said that several minerals and micronutrients are necessary for supporting normal brain and body function, and deficiencies in older individuals could increase cognitive decline and dementia risk.
The researchers tested whether cognition improved in older individuals with a daily cocoa extract supplement versus placebo and a mineral/multivitamin supplement versus placebo. Over 2,200 individuals, 65 years and older, enrolled and were observed for 3 years. Individuals completed tests over the phone at the start of the study and every year to assess memory and other cognitive abilities.
The study demonstrated that although cognition was not affected with cocoa extract, a daily mineral/multivitamin supplement resulted in cognitive improvement that was statistically significant.
It was estimated that 3 years of supplementing with a multivitamin translated to cognitive decline slowing by about 60%, equivalent to approximately 1.8 years. Individuals with cardiovascular disease experienced relatively more pronounced benefits, which is significant because these people already have an increased cognitive impairment and decline risk.
According to the researchers, it’s too soon for daily multivitamin supplement recommendations to help in preventing cognitive decline. Although these preliminary results are promising, more studies are necessary in a much larger and diverse group of individuals.
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