Article

Memory improvements in elderly women following 16 weeks treatment with a combined multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplement: A randomized controlled trial.

Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, NICM Collaborative Centre for Neurocognition, Swinburne University of Technology, 427-451 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Melbourne, VIC, 3122, Australia.
Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.99). 03/2012; 220(2):351-65. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-011-2481-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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 B(6) and B(12), 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.

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    • "Studies on the role of Hcy in cognitive performance in healthy subjects have shown that Hcy is specifically involved in episodic memory (Faux et al., 2011; Narayan et al., 2011), spatial learning (Pirchl et al., 2010), reversal learning (Christie et al., 2005; Algaidi et al., 2006), and executive function (Narayan et al., 2011). However, it is debatable whether Hcy plays a role in working memory processes, as some studies have found they are not related (Narayan et al., 2011), while other studies found that lowering Hcy levels enhances working memory (Macpherson et al., 2012). "
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    • "The treatments were randomly allocated in blocks of four by the supplier; Swisse Vitamins®. Full details of the clinical trial methods have been described previously [14] "
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    • "However, a study conducted over a shorter period of time (4 months) has reported memory improvements in subjects aged 50–75 years following treatment with a combined antioxidant vitamin, mineral and herbal supplement (Summers et al., 2010). Similar findings have also been reported from another 4-month trial in elderly aged 64–81 years (Macpherson et al., 2012). Herbal components of the formulas used in both studies included flavonoids and Ginkgo biloba, ingredients previously explored for their potential cognitive enhancing effects (Stough et al., 2001; Ferrari, 2004). "
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