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: 3.88). 03/2012; 220(2):351-65. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-011-2481-3
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Contextual recognition memory, a measure of episodic memory, is often the first cognitive function to be impaired in patients with progressive cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s dementia. In a second study, a version of the supplement designed for women improved speed of response on a measure of spatial working memory in women aged 64 to 82 years who had reported memory worsening at screening [83]. "
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    • "The same treatment was associated with improvements in contextual recognition memory performance in men aged between 50 and 74 years who had a sedentary lifestyle [10]. Macpherson et al. [26], also showed that 16-week supplementation with a SMV formula designed for older women (50+ Ultivite®) was associated with faster speed of spatial working memory performance. "
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