Study Reveals The Power Of A Daily Multivitamin For Dementia Prevention

About 55 million people have dementia globally, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 10 million new cases are reported each year. The organization projects that by 2030, we could see 78 million cases, and by 2050, that number could be as high as 139 million.

Currently, there is no cure for dementia. That said, people can reduce the risk of cognitive decline by being physically active, not overusing alcohol, not smoking, eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels (via WHO).

While some supplements are touted for improving cognitive function, there is not a lot of evidence to support these claims. However, a study published in Alzheimer's & Dementia showed that taking a multivitamin might help stave off cognitive decline. Authors of the study explain that the trial provides the first evidence from a large, long-term trial that supports the potential effectiveness of multivitamin supplements for cognition benefits in older adults.

Cognition, memory, and executive function improved

The study included 2262 participants with an average age of 73 years with no history of heart attack, stroke, cancer, or recent serious illness. They also reported that they had not previously taken multivitamins, or would stop taking theirs during the trial. Participants enrolled from August 2016 to August 2017, and researchers followed them for three years. Researchers tested the cognition of individuals yearly through several methods, including verbal fluency and word and story recall.

Results showed that supplementing with a multivitamin "improved global cognition, episodic memory, and executive function in older adults." Researchers noted that those with a history of cardiovascular disease saw the most benefit. In addition, three years of supplementing with a multivitamin appeared to slow aging by 1.8 years, or by 60%. Authors of the study recognized limitations, which included the fact that data was dependent on self-reporting. In addition, the study did not represent all races and ethnicities in the older adult population. As a result, they concluded that more research was needed.