HealthDay News — A daily multivitamin may provide cognitive benefits for older adults, according to a study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

Laura D. Baker, PhD, from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and colleagues assessed whether daily use of cocoa extract (containing 500 mg/day flavanols) vs placebo and a commercial multivitamin-mineral vs placebo improved cognition in 2,262 older women and men (mean age, 73 years).

The researchers found that cocoa extract had no effect on global cognition. However, compared with placebo, daily multivitamin-mineral supplementation resulted in a statistically significant benefit on global cognition, with a more pronounced effect seen in participants with a history of cardiovascular disease. Benefits of multivitamin-mineral were also seen for memory and executive function. There were no significant interactions observed between cocoa extract and multivitamin-mineral for any of the cognitive composites.

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“Our study showed that although cocoa extract did not affect cognition, daily multivitamin-mineral supplementation resulted in statistically significant cognitive improvement. This is the first evidence of cognitive benefit in a large longer-term study of multivitamin supplementation in older adults,” Baker said in a statement. “It’s too early to recommend daily multivitamin supplementation to prevent cognitive decline. While these preliminary findings are promising, additional research is needed in a larger and more diverse group of people.”

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