Taking a daily multivitamin could keep the brain sharp for two more years, new research suggests.
The study of more than 2,000 retirees who were given either multivitamins, cocoa extracts, or placebos found that those who took the multivitamin supplements for three years had a significant reduction in cognitive decline.
Overall, the US research said the pills appeared to slow the decline by about 60 percent – the equivalent of 1.8 years. The results raise hopes that vitamins could prevent dementia.
Cognitive decline can be a precursor or sign of Alzheimer’s disease, but this is not always the case. Experts said the results are the first positive, large-scale, long-term study to show that multivitamin-mineral supplementation can slow cognitive decline for older adults.
So far, evidence on the effects of multivitamins on the brain has been limited, with most major studies suggesting that they have little effect. It’s also hard to consider that those who take them may have other benefits.
The researchers stressed that further studies are needed before any recommendations are made.
Study researcher Professor Laura Baker said: “There is an urgent need for safe and affordable interventions to protect older adults’ cognition from declining.”
The research was part of a larger study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital that involved more than 21,000 men and women across the United States.
Scientists investigated whether taking a daily cocoa extract supplement or a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement reduced the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, cancer and other health conditions.
Typically, a daily multivitamin will contain vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, as well as a number of B vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
More than 2,200 participants aged 65 and over enrolled and were followed for three years. They conducted tests over the phone initially and annually to assess memory and other cognitive abilities.
Telegraph Media Group Limited 
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/cocoa-or-vitamins-which-slows-cognitive-decline-in-pensioners-41990396.html Cocoa or vitamins: What slows down cognitive decline in retirees?