Multivitamin May Slow Memory Loss

With a multivitamin, you get a little of everything and not too much of anything. I cut most of my other supplements.



In COSMOS-Clinic, we observed a modest benefit of MVM compared with placebo on global cognition over 2 y {mean difference [95% confidence interval (CI)] = 0.06 SD units (SU) (−0.003, 0.13)}, with a significantly more favorable change in episodic memory [mean difference (95% CI) = 0.12 SU (0.002, 0.23)] but not in executive function or attention [mean difference (95% CI) = 0.04 SU (−0.04, 0.11)]. The meta-analysis of COSMOS substudies showed clear evidence of MVM benefits on global cognition [mean difference (95% CI) = 0.07 SU (0.03, 0.11); P = 0.0009] and episodic memory [mean difference (95% CI) = 0.06 SU (0.03, 0.10); P = 0.0007]; the magnitude of effect on global cognition was equivalent to reducing cognitive aging by 2 y.


@Neo, The Washington Post is more impressed with the meta-analysis than are the writers of the original research article. Did the Post misinterpret or misread? I don’t know, but a three-year difference seems significant to me. I’m surprised that a decline in cognitive function can be measured year to year.


As I read it, this is association & begs the question of causality.

See also: These 3 Personality Traits Are Linked to a Lower Risk of Dementia

The vit study is looking at symptoms & it appears that symptoms can be associated with traits that are likely also associated with taking vitamins.

Blockquote Individuals with personality traits such as conscientiousness, extraversion, and positive affect are less likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those with neuroticism and negative affect, according to a new analysis by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and Northwestern University. The difference was not linked to physical damage to brain tissue found in dementia patients, but more likely to how certain personality traits help people navigate dementia-related impairments.


I have taken solgar vm2000 twice a week for a long time. It has the merits of not providing too much of anything, but having tested i am topping up on some things.


Are you sure, I haven’t read the whole paper but from the abstract and the title:

Effect of multivitamin-mineral supplementation versus placebo on cognitive function: results from the clinic subcohort of the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) randomized clinical trial and meta-analysis of 3 cognitive studies within COSMOS


@Elizabeth_Kirby, Today’s NYT follows yesterday’s WP with an article on the study. It didn’t add much to the debate but concluded that people on restricted diets, such as vegetarians and most of the people on this site, probably benefit the most from a multi.


Full article here:

But experts not involved in the trial cautioned that the benefits were small, and it was not clear that they would translate to tangible improvements in people’s lives.

“I would put it in the realm of promising, but I wouldn’t go to the bank with it,” said Mary Butler, an associate professor of public health at the University of Minnesota who has published several papers evaluating interventions to prevent dementia.

The COSMOS study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and chocolate maker Mars Inc., was originally designed to see whether multivitamins or supplements containing cocoa flavanols would affect heart disease or cancer risk. But the trial found little benefit of either supplement.

Other studies have largely shown that multivitamins didn’t improve cognition or prevent dementia. For example, in a trial of nearly 6,000 male physicians tracked for 12 years, those who took a multivitamin performed no better on cognitive or memory tests than those who took a placebo.

Research has consistently found, however, that a healthy diet and other lifestyle interventions can benefit the brain. Puja Agarwal, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, called the new findings “encouraging.” But, she added, “if we can meet our nutritional requirements with dietary approaches, that should be the first priority.”

Related: COSMOS Study Shows Cocoa Flavanols Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Death by 27%

I’m a little confused by the statement on the COSMOS study.


Good point, thanks for pointing it out. I had missed that.

Still, if one can somehow develop good cheer, it sounds like it is good for one’s health. Personally, I help it out by avoiding a lot of the news. :grin:


@Elizabeth_Kirby Me too. I don’t watch the news anymore, so I’m no longer throwing my shoes at the TV. But I can’t stop reading the news, which somehow keeps me informed but not as angry or disgusted.

What’s the best multivitamin that doesn’t have the vitamins that is bad for longevity in supplement form?
I want to know since I am going on the McDonald’s diet. Or are those vitamins good on it?

I should have no reason to believe carrots are healthier than Vitamin A supplement or brazil nuts over selenium supplement, etc.

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What does a vegan eat in Mcdonalds?

It depends where you are. There are also other fast food places that works just as well.

I will rephrase my question, how does your “McDonalds’ diet” look like?

I will eat whatever I want to eat. Zero thoughts about healthfulness except saturated fat since that trade off is small and it actually has causal evidence.

Probably ON finasteride though:


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No worries about glucose spikes? AGEs?

No zero worries. No causal evidence.
I’m tired of pretending there is.

Is there any casual evidence that those type of things do not matter?
(As I think you have shared a few times - absence of (black and white) evidence, is not evidence of absence)

Seems like the risks/reward of taking those things into account for diet etc is quite good - even if I completely agree that there is uncertainty of the impact.

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There is a difference in not detecting something when searching for it despite other evidence.
And not detecting anything, not searching for it, and no other evidence. I shared that based on the former not the latter. Else you can make anything up and claim that ‘no one has disproved it’, the burden of proof is not on me.

Either way the expected effect must be vanishingly small by definition of its uncertainty and lack of evidence. Logic has vanquished the CGM’s, AGE’s, and all diet cults, I’m afraid. This is the Ultimate Argument, and why I came to love Warren Buffet’s lifestyle. Risk vs. reward isn’t based solely on lifespan but also hedonic pleasure as well.