Few effective strategies have been shown in randomized clinical trials to improve memory or slow cognitive decline among older adults. Dietary interventions may play an important role because the brain requires many nutrients for optimal health, and a deficiency in one or more of these nutrients may accelerate cognitive decline.
The COcoa Supplementation and Multivitamin Results Study (COSMOS), a large-scale, nationwide randomized trial run by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), a founding member of Mass General Brigham, included two separate clinical trials (COSMOS-Web and COSMOS-Mind). ) Testing vitamin supplementation on changes in cognitive function.
is reading: A daily multivitamin to boost memory? Here’s what you should know
In a study published in American Journal of Clinical NutritionResearchers from BWH and collaborators at Columbia University report from COSMOS-Web that a daily multivitamin supplement, compared to a placebo, improved memory among the participants. The study is the second from COSMOS, along with previously published COSMOS-Mind, to find improvement in memory function among those taking a multivitamin.
“The results that taking a daily multivitamin improve memory and slow cognitive decline in two separate studies in the randomized COSMOS trial are remarkable, suggesting that multivitamin supplementation shows promise as a safe, accessible, and affordable approach to protecting cognitive health in older adults,” he said. co. –Author JoAnn Manson, MD, chair of Brigham’s Division of Preventive Medicine. Manson is co-leader of the original COSMOS trial with Howard Sesso, ScD, associate director of Brigham’s Division of Preventive Medicine.
Sesso adds, “With these two studies on cognition at hand for COSMOS, and more in COSMOS, it is critical to understand how a daily multivitamin may protect against memory loss and cognitive decline, and whether certain subgroups depend on nutritional status or others may benefit. more or less factors.
The newly published COSMOS-Web trial included more than 3,500 participants aged 60 and over who completed new, web-based assessments of memory and cognition annually over a three-year period. Compared to the placebo group, participants who were randomized to vitamin supplements did significantly better on memory tests at the initial preselected one-year time point, with benefits continuing over three years of follow-up.
The researchers estimated that the multivitamin intervention improved memory performance by 3.1 years compared to the placebo group. Interestingly, both COSMOS cognitive studies also showed that the participants who benefited the most might have been those with a history of cardiovascular disease.
“Because of our innovative approach to assessing cognitive outcomes using Internet-based tests, we were able to examine the effects of multivitamins in thousands of study participants. The results are promising and certainly set the stage for important follow-up studies on the effect,” said Adam Breckman, PhD, who co-led the COSMOS-Web study. With Lok-Kin Yeung, Ph.D., at Columbia University: “Multivitamin Supplementation on Cognition.” Most older adults are concerned about memory changes that occur with age, Yeung added. Our study suggests that taking a multivitamin supplement may be a simple and inexpensive way for older adults to slow down memory loss.”
Findings from COSMOS-Web, conducted in collaboration between Brigham and Columbia University, provide confirmation of previous findings from COSMOS-Mind linking daily vitamins to slowing cognitive decline. COSMOS-Mind, conducted in collaboration between the Brigham and Wake Forest School of Medicine, tested 2,200 older adults over three years and showed that random assignment of daily multivitamin supplementation was associated with a 60% slowdown in global cognitive aging compared to placebo, equivalent to 1.8 years. of a decrease in cognitive decline (the study was published in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in September 2022).
The authors note that the COSMOS-Web study provides evidence that multivitamin supplements have cognitive benefits but that further research will be necessary to determine which specific nutrients contribute most to this benefit and the underlying mechanisms involved. Additional research is also needed to determine whether the findings are generalizable to the more diverse study population with lower educational levels and lower socioeconomic status.
The study, titled “Vitamin Supplements Improve Memory in Older People: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” was published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Yeung LK et al. “Vitamin supplementation improves memory in the elderly: a randomized clinical trial.” AJCN DOI: 10.1016/j.ajcnut.2023.05.011 Available Here. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.ajcnut.2023.05.011
Disclosures: Sesso also reported receiving investigator-initiated grants from Pure Encapsulations and Pfizer Inc. and fees and/or travel to lecturers from the Council for Responsible Nutrition, BASF, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Dietetic Association while the study was conducted.
Funding: COSMOS-Web was supported by grants initiated by investigators from Mars Edge, part of Mars Inc., and the National Institutes of Health (AG050657, AG071611, EY025623, and HL157665). Pfizer, Inc. Consumer Healthcare (now Haleon) donated the vitamins, placebos, and packaging.
Provided by Brigham and Women’s Hospital
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