As we grow older, our brains naturally change. Behaviors like shorter attention spans, being less able to multitask and having trouble recalling names are some of the most common afflictions that seniors have to deal with. But there’s some good news!
A new study found a link between a daily multivitamin supplement and cognitive health, suggesting that it’s possible to slow down the brain’s aging process.
The findings were published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia and was conducted by researchers from Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
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Researchers wanted to see if taking a daily cocoa extract supplement or a multivitamin supplement was able to reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, strokes, and more. Over 2,200 participants over the age of 65 were recruited for the study, with a follow-up process for three years. During this time, researchers had participants complete different tasks that tested their cognitive ability.
Participants were split into groups, with one taking the cocoa extract and another a placebo. A different group took the multivitamin supplement and had their results compared to another placebo group.
“Our study showed that although cocoa extract did not affect cognition, daily multivitamin-mineral supplementation resulted in statistically significant cognitive improvement,” said study author Laura Baker. “This is the first evidence of cognitive benefit in a large longer-term study of multivitamin supplementation in older adults.”
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The study results indicate that three years of taking the vitamin supplements were able to slow down the brain’s aging process by 60%. These benefits were more pronounced in people with cardiovascular disease, something that is very good since these people are already at a higher risk of experiencing cognitive decline.
While researchers make it clear that their results are preliminary, if pursued, the study could provide people with a new and noninvasive way of keeping their brains fit and healthy for as long as possible.