A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that taking a daily multivitamin may help improve memory and slow age-related cognitive decline in older adults. Researchers analyzed data from over 500 participants in the Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) who were given either a daily multivitamin or a placebo for two years. Those taking the multivitamin saw modest improvements in global cognition and significant benefits for episodic memory compared to the placebo group.
The study authors conducted a meta-analysis incorporating data from three COSMOS trials which showed strong evidence that daily multivitamin use slows cognitive aging equivalent to being two years younger. Experts theorize vitamins may support cognitive health by resolving nutrient deficiencies, regulating neurotransmitters, and protecting against oxidative stress. However, further research is still needed to confirm the cognitive benefits of multivitamins and determine which specific nutrients are most beneficial, as this study was not able to isolate the effects of individual vitamins. More diverse, large-scale studies are also necessary before definitive recommendations can be made.