Life Extension Magazine®

Woman taking multivitmains to maintain her memory

In the News: Multivitamins Help Maintain Memory in Aging Individuals

Multivitamins help maintain memory in older adults; lower B12 and folic acid levels linked to H. pylori infection in men with erectile dysfunction; fish oil improves body composition, strength, performance in older individuals; and more.

Scientifically reviewed by: Gary Gonzalez, MD, in September 2023.

Multivitamins Help Maintain Memory in Aging Individuals

Results from two clinical trials indicate that daily multivitamin supplementation can help prevent memory loss and slow cognitive decline among older individuals, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported.*

The COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS), including (COSMOS-Web and COSMOS-Mind) evaluated the effects of multivitamin supplementation on cognitive function.

COSMOS-Mind found that compared to a placebo, supplementing with a daily multivitamin-mineral was associated with better scores for cognition and executive function, and less cognitive decline.

COSMOS-Web included 3,562 men and women who received a multivitamin sup- plement or a placebo daily for three years. Cognitive assessments were conducted at enrollment and yearly for the remain- der of the trial. After one year, as well as on average during the three years of follow-up, participants who received multivitamins had better immediate recall compared with the placebo group.

Editor's Note:The researchers estimated that, “... the effect of the multivitamin intervention im- proved memory performance above placebo by the equivalent of 3.1 years of age-related memory change.”

* Am J Clin Nutr.2023 May 24.

Lower Folate-B12, Higher Homocysteine, and H.Pylori Linked with Erectile Dysfunction

A recent clinical study found that H. Pylori infection may lead to decrease absorption of vitamin B 12 and folic acid leading to increased homocysteine levels, which might be associated with erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.*

Among other factors involved in erectile function, higher levels of serum homocysteine is associated with poor endothelial functioning which accelerates atherosclerosis.

In this observational study, research- ers investigated the relationship between homocysteine, folic acid, and vitamin B12.

It was found that H. pylori antibodies were higher in men with ED as compared to healthy men.

The ED group also had significantly higher levels of homocysteine and lower levels of B vitamins as compared to healthy men.

Editor's Note: Researchers concluded that H. Pylori infection eradication or folic acid and b12 supplementation might have certain clinical value in the treatment of vascular ED.

* Sex Med. 2023 Mar 1;11(2):qfac018.

Fish Oil Improves Body Composition, Strength, Performance in Older Individuals

A secondary analysis of findings from a randomized, double-blind clinical trial found improvements in body composition, muscle strength and physical performance among older Chinese men and women, who consumed a supplement containing fish oil compared to a placebo.*

The six-month trial included 200 people aged 60 and older. Participants were randomized to receive a fish oil supplement that provided 1,340 mg of EPA and 1,007 mg of DHA or a placebo.

After six months, there was a significant increase in thigh circumference among those who received fish oil, while waist and hip circumference remained relatively the same.

Total skeletal muscle mass, appendicular skeletal muscle mass, muscle strength (as evaluated by hand-grip strength measurement) and physical performance (demonstrated by the ability to rise from a chair and walk) also improved among fish oil-supplemented participants compared with the placebo group.

Editor's Note: The supplemented group additionally experienced a decrease in serum triglycerides and an increase in HDL cholesterol.

* Age Ageing. 2022 Dec 5;51(12):afac274.

Lower Vitamin C Levels Linked to Greater Health Risk for Diabetics

Low serum levels of vitamin C may put US adult population with pre-diabetes or diabetes at greater risk, a study showed.*

The study analyzed data from 52,150 individuals who participated in NHANES from 1999–2018. Among the participants 6,827 had type II diabetes and 428 had type I diabe- tes. Data included fasting plasma glucose and A1c levels.

Those whose intake of vitamin C was lower than the estimated average requirement had a 20% higher risk of type II diabetes compared with an intake above the estimated average requirement.

Those who did not use vitamin C supplements had a 28% greater risk than supplement users.

Low and deficient serum vitamin C levels were associated with fewer years of life in comparison with normal levels.

Editor's Note: Not supplementing with vitamin C was associated with a 25% greater mortality risk among people with type I diabetes, a 20% greater risk among those with type II diabetes, and a 24% greater risk among those without diabetes compared with those who supplemented.

* Nutrients. 2022 Sep 21;14(19):3902.