Against decline: a long-term study provides evidence that vitamins and trace elements can at least delay mental decline in old age. Taking a vitamin cocktail daily for three years significantly improved memory and mental performance in the elderly subjects tested compared to the placebo group. On average, mental decline was delayed by 1.8 years during this period. However, more studies are still needed before a general vitamin intake is recommended, the team stresses.

So now you can Alzheimer And other types of dementia that affect old age does not cure or stop. So far, research on active ingredients against brain-damaging amyloid plaques has been disappointing. Previous treatments can at best slow mental decline. A targeted supply of certain vitamins and trace elements to the elderly is also beneficial: studies have shown that individual vitamins such as Vitamin DOr B vitamins, too nutritious cocktails She found positive effects, but the results remained contradictory.

A cocktail of vitamins and minerals

Results of a larger, placebo-controlled, long-term study are now available for the first time: A team led by Laura Becker of Wake Forest University in North Carolina examined whether taking a daily vitamin-mineral cocktail reduces mental status. The decline in the elderly can stop or delay people. First of all, about 2,000 men and women over the age of 65 completed a series of cognitive tests in which their memory and other mental abilities were questioned.

For three years, some test subjects took a specially formulated multivitamin preparation every day. This contains, among other things, vitamins A, D, E, K, various B vitamins, trace mineral elements as well as lutein and lycopene. Instead, the comparison group received a placebo without the active ingredients. All tested subjects completed the cognitive tests again at 1-year intervals.

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Mining slowed by 60 percent

Evaluations showed that the mental performance of older adults who took a multivitamin cocktail every day decreased less than the placebo group. “On average, three years of taking a multivitamin slowed the mental aging process by 60 percent—corresponding to a delay of about 1.8 years,” Baker and colleagues report. “This is the first evidence of such cognitive effects of vitamin administration in a long-term, placebo-controlled study in the elderly.”

The effect of the vitamin cocktail was particularly evident in the elderly who already had cardiovascular disease at the start of the long-term study. The researchers reported that “the cocktail-treated individuals in this subgroup showed persistent increases in their cognitive function, while the placebo portion of this subgroup showed mental decline from the first year.” In addition, cardiovascular patients have an increased risk of developing dementia and usually also have lower micronutrient values.

Warning against uncontrolled self-medication

But the research team warns the elderly against taking larger amounts of vitamin preparations alone. “It’s too early to recommend a daily multivitamin cocktail on that basis,” Becker said. “While our initial results are promising, we need further investigations in larger and more diverse populations. Also, we do not yet understand why this multivitamin combination enhances mental performance in older adults.”

The study also indicated that the positive effect of the multivitamin cocktail drink lost momentum after two years: in the third year, the multivitamin group performed better than the placebo group, but cognitive performance also declined slightly. “Until more data is available, people should talk to their treating physicians about the benefits and risks of taking a multivitamin,” said Maria Carrillo of the Alzheimer’s Association. (Alzheimers and Dementia, 2022; doi: 10.1002/alz.12767)

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Quelle: Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Alzheimer’s Association


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