Memory improvements in elderly women following 16 weeks treatment with a combined multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplement
There is potential for multivitamin supplementation to improve cognition in the elderly. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to investigate the effects of 16 weeks multivitamin supplementation (Swisse Women’s 50+ Ultivite ®) on cognition in elderly women.
Participants in this study were 56 community dwelling, elderly women, with subjective complaints of memory loss. Cognition was assessed using a computerized battery of memory and attention tasks designed to be sensitive to age-related declines to fluid intelligence, and a measure of verbal recall. Biochemical measures of selected nutrients, homocysteine, markers of inflammation, oxidative stress, and blood safety parameters were also collected. All cognitive and haematological parameters were assessed at baseline and 16 weeks post-treatment.
The multivitamin improved speed of response on a measure of spatial working memory, however benefits to other cognitive processes were not observed. Multivitamin supplementation decreased levels of homocysteine and increased levels of vitamin B6 and B12, with a trend for vitamin E to increase. There were no hepatotoxic effects of the multivitamin formula indicating this supplement was safe for everyday usage in the elderly.
Sixteen weeks ssupplementation with a combined multivitamin, mineral and herbal formula may benefit working memory in elderly women at risk of cognitive decline.
KeywordsMultivitamin Vitamin Elderly Cognition Cognitive Memory Homocysteine Oxidative stress Inflammation Blood safety Working memory
This work was supported by funding from Swisse Vitamins Pty Ltd. The authors are grateful to Swisse Vitamins for providing the multivitamin and placebo supplements used in this trial.
Conflicts of interest
The National Institute of Integrative Medicine, of which Professor Avni Sali is currently Director, receives financial support from Swisse Vitamins Pty Ltd. The treatments were randomly allocated by Swisse Vitamins Pty Ltd. Swisse Vitamins Pty Ltd was not involved in any other aspects of the conduct of the trial, analysis, or interpretation of the trial findings.
- Ahlemeyer B, Krieglstein J (2003) Pharmacological studies supporting the therapeutic use of Ginkgo biloba extract for Alzheimer’s disease. Pharmacopsychiatry 36(suppl 1):8–14Google Scholar
- Arnaud J, Bost M, Vitoux D, Labarère J, Galan P, Faure H, Hercberg S, Bordet JC, Roussel AM, Chappuis P (2007) Effect of low dose antioxidant vitamin and trace element supplementation on the urinary concentrations of thromboxane and prostacyclin metabolites. J Am Coll Nutr 26(5):405–411PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Block G, Jensen CD, Norkus EP, Dalvi TB, Wong LG, McManus JF, Hudes ML (2007) Usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of long-term multiple dietary supplement users: a cross-sectional study. Nutr J 6(30)Google Scholar
- Eussen SJ, De Groot LC, Joosten LW, Bloo RJ, Clarke R, Ueland PM, Schneede J, Blom HJ, Hoefnagels WH, Van Staveren WA (2006) Effect of oral vitamin B-12 with or without folic acid on cognitive function in older people with mild vitamin B-12 deficiency: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 84(2):361–370PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lewerin C, Matousek M, Steen G, Johansson B, Steen B, Nilsson-Ehle H (2005) Significant correlations of plasma homocysteine and serum methylmalonic acid with movement and cognitive performance in elderly subjects but no improvement from short-term vitamin therapy: a placebo-controlled randomized study. Am J Clin Nutr 81(5):1155–1162PubMedGoogle Scholar
- McNeill G, Avenell A, Campbell MK, Cook JA, Hannaford PC, Kilonzo MM, Milne AC, Ramsay CR, Seymour DG, Stephen AI, Vale LD (2007) Effect of multivitamin and multimineral supplementation on cognitive function in men and women aged 65 years and over: a randomised controlled trial. Nutr J 6(10)Google Scholar
- O'Doherty MG, Gilchrist SECM, Young IS, McKinley MC, Yarnell JWG, Gey KF, Evans A, Skidmore PML, Woodside JV (2010) Effect of supplementation with B vitamins and antioxidants on levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and C-reactive protein (CRP): a double-blind, randomised, factorial design, placebo-controlled trial. Eur J Nutr 49(8):483–492PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pipingas A, Harris E, Tournier E, King R, Kras M, Stough CK (2010) Assessing the efficacy of nutraceutical interventions on cognitive functioning in the elderly. Curr Top Nutraceut Res 8(2–3):79–87Google Scholar
- Rosenberg IH, Miller JW (1992) Nutritional factors in physical and cognitive functions of elderly people. Am J Clin Nutr 55(6 suppl):1237–1243Google Scholar
- Ryan J, Croft K, Mori T, Wesnes K, Spong J, Downey L, Kure C, Lloyd J, Stough C (2008) An examination of the effects of the antioxidant Pycnogenol® on cognitive performance, serum lipid profile, endocrinological and oxidative stress biomarkers in an elderly population. J Psychopharmacol 22:553–562PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Salonen JT, Salonen R, Seppanen K, Rinta-Kiikka S, Kuukka M, Korpela H, Alfthan G, Kantola M, Schalch W (1991) Effects of antioxidant supplementation on platelet function: a randomized pair-matched, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial in men with low antioxidant status. Am J Clin Nutr 53(5):1222–1229PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Selhub J, Bagley LC, Miller J, Rosenberg IH (2000) B vitamins, homocysteine, and neurocognitive function in the elderly. Am J Clin Nutr 71(2)Google Scholar
- Shargorodsky M, Debby O, Matas Z, Zimlichman R (2010) Effect of long-term treatment with antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and selenium) on arterial compliance, humoral factors and inflammatory markers in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors. Nutr Metab 7:55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Smith AD, Smith SM, de Jager CA, Whitbread P, Johnston C, Agacinski G, Oulhaj A, Bradley KM, Jacoby R, Refsum H (2010) Homocysteine-lowering by B vitamins slows the rate of accelerated brain atrophy in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial. PLoS ONE 5(9):1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Spencer JP (2008) Flavonoids: modulators of brain function? Br J Nutr 99(E-suppl 1):60S–77SGoogle Scholar
- Summers WK, Martin RL, Cunningham M, Deboynton VL, Marsh GM (2010) Complex antioxidant blend improves memory in community-dwelling seniors. J Alzheimer's Dis 19(2):429–439Google Scholar