Large Study Finds Daily Multivitamins May Improve Memory in Older Adults
As the aging population continues to grow, the threat of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease becomes an increasingly pressing concern.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, by 2060, nearly one in four Americans will fall into an age bracket at elevated risk of cognitive decline.
COSMOS Study Overview
In response to this looming challenge, the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) has emerged as a significant undertaking, revealing promising findings related to daily multivitamin supplementation and its impact on cognitive aging.
Conducted by researchers at Mass General Brigham, COSMOS is a large-scale, nationwide, randomized trial that rigorously evaluates the effects of cocoa extract and multivitamin supplements on cognitive function.
The latest findings from the study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, underscore the consistent and statistically significant benefits of a daily multivitamin compared to a placebo, particularly in terms of memory and global cognition.
The study focused on participants who underwent in-person cognitive assessments, revealing a modest yet statistically significant benefit for the multivitamin over a two-year period.
The impact was observed in global cognition, and specifically in episodic memory. Moreover, a meta-analysis combining data from three separate studies within COSMOS, each with non-overlapping participants and varying treatment durations, indicated a substantial benefit for both global cognition and episodic memory.
According to the researchers, the daily multivitamin supplementation slowed global cognitive aging by an estimated two years compared to the placebo. This breakthrough offers a potential avenue for addressing cognitive decline, a top concern among older adults.
Chirag Vyas, the first author of the report and an instructor in investigation at the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), expressed optimism about the study’s implications.
Vyas highlighted that cognitive decline ranks high among the health concerns of older adults, and a daily multivitamin could serve as an accessible and appealing approach to slowing cognitive aging.
Multivitamins’ Potential in Aging Brains
Senior author Olivia Okereke, MD SM, Director of Geriatric Psychiatry at MGH, emphasized the importance of these findings in supporting better cognitive aging. The potential of a daily multivitamin to prevent memory loss and slow down cognitive aging aligns with the growing interest among older adults in preserving brain health.
Led by JoAnn Manson and Howard Sesso of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the COSMOS study has uncovered exciting possibilities surrounding the impact of a daily multivitamin on memory and cognitive aging.
As the aging population seeks effective and accessible solutions to safeguard cognitive health, these findings offer promise and encourage further exploration into the mechanisms by which a daily multivitamin may protect against memory loss and cognitive decline.
The COSMOS consortium’s collaborative efforts have shed light on the potential benefits of nutritional supplementation, providing a valuable contribution to the pursuit of healthier cognitive