Study indicates daily multivitamin cuts down on memory loss

There has long been debate on whether multivitamins actually improve health, but a new study suggests they can slow memory loss.
Multivitamins on a grocery shelf
Posted at 3:05 PM, Jan 24, 2024

There is growing research that indicates using a multivitamin could improve cognition later in life and help slow memory loss. 

A new study from Mass General Brighamwas the third of its kind to research the impact multivitamins have on aging adults. The 573-person study "showed strong evidence of benefits for both global cognition and episodic memory." The study enrolled Americans over age 60.

Researchers say studying memory loss is important as the U.S. population ages. They said 1 in 4 will face an elevated risk of memory loss and Alzheimer's disease by 2060. 

"Cognitive decline is among the top health concerns for most older adults, and a daily supplement of multivitamins has the potential as an appealing and accessible approach to slow cognitive aging,” said Dr. Chirag Vyas, the study's co-author. “The meta-analysis of three separate cognition studies provides strong and consistent evidence that taking a daily multivitamin, containing more than 20 essential micronutrients, helps prevent memory loss and slow down cognitive aging.” 

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The oral capsule developed by engineers at MIT is about the size of a multivitamin and is powered by a small silver oxide battery.


The Food and Drug Administration recommends talking with a doctor before taking a multivitamin. The Cleveland Clinic says there is inconclusive evidence multivitamins improve cognition. 

“Taking a multivitamin is no substitute for healthy lifestyle choices like exercising and eating a balanced diet,” says Dr. Raul Seballos, Cleveland Clinic internist.

The Mayo Clinicalso says that consuming a balanced diet is the best way to get the vitamins you need. The Mayo Clinic adds that multivitamins can help fill gaps for those who struggle to maintain a healthy diet. 

"These findings will garner attention among many older adults who are, understandably, very interested in ways to preserve brain health, as they provide evidence for the role of a daily multivitamin in supporting better cognitive aging," said Dr. Olivia Okereke, senior author of the report.