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Effects of a multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplement on cognition and blood biomarkers in older men: a randomised, placebo-controlled trial *

Objective

Nutritional and vitamin status may be related to cognitive function and decline in older adults. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of nutritional supplementation on cognition in older men.

Method

The current study was an 8-week, placebo-controlled, double-blind investigation into the effects of a multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplement (Swisse Men’s Ultivite®, Swisse Vitamins Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia) on cognitive performance in older men. Participants were 51 male individuals aged between 50 and 74 years, with a sedentary lifestyle. Cognitive performance was assessed at baseline and post-treatment using a computerised battery of cognitive tasks, enabling the measurement of a range of attentional and memory processes. Blood measures of vitamin B12, folate and homocysteine were collected prior to and after supplementation.

Results

The results of this study revealed that contextual recognition memory performance was significantly improved following multivitamin supplementation (p < 0.05). Performance on other cognitive tasks did not change. Levels of vitamin B12 and folate were significantly increased with a concomitant decrease in homocysteine, indicating that relatively short-term supplementation with a multivitamin can benefit these risk factors for cognitive decline.

Conclusion

Findings from this study indicate that daily multivitamin supplementation may improve episodic memory in older men at risk of cognitive decline. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Published on 10-17-2012