An Exciting New Study Reveals The Cognitive Benefits Of A Daily Multivitamin
Here at mbg, we've been vocal for years about the importance of a high-quality, well-formulated multivitamin for supporting your health from head to toe. Now, new research is adding valuable insights to what we already knew: that taking a multivitamin daily can provide significant benefits to your health and well-being—particularly in the way of cognitive function and memory.*
What the study found.
Designed to explore cognitive health effects of cocoa supplementation or multivitamin supplementation in a group of 2,262 adults, a robust, large-scale study known as the COSMOS-Mind randomized controlled trial (an ancillary study from the larger COSMOS trial) was conducted.
The landmark clinical research carried out by Wake Forest University, Harvard University, and Brigham and Women's Hospital revealed that taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement (aka, a multi) each day for three years significantly improved major brain health outcomes, specifically global cognition, episodic memory, and executive function.*
"Global cognition considers various domains like attention and orientation, memory, verbal skills, language, and more. Meanwhile, executive function includes diverse brain functions like organization, task management, working memory, impulse control, cognitive flexibility, and other outcomes," explains Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, mbg's vice president of scientific affairs. "This is a truly exciting array of cognitive benefits delivered by a daily multivitamin routine in this large clinical trial," she adds.
Interestingly, the study also demonstrated that the brain benefits of a daily multi regimen were particularly evident in participants who previously had cardiovascular concerns. "This is an incrementally compelling finding since research indicates that caring for our hearts earlier in life can actually slow down brain aging," Ferira says. "Add in a robust multi, and you're that much better off."
While this study included a mix of women and men, the wide majority of its participants were white. Further studies would benefit from a more diverse group of people. And while the research found that taking a multivitamin every day can be beneficial, it's still important to be picky about which multi you're taking if you really want to reap the benefits.
It's worth noting that though the multivitamin the men and women took in the COSMOS-Mind trial provided basic essential vitamins and minerals, many of them were not offered in their most high-quality forms (e.g., bioactive, gentle, limited additives) or most efficacious doses. The fact that participants demonstrated cognitive benefits anyway raises the question of what long-term benefits a more comprehensive and premium-quality multi can offer!
While the findings regarding the benefits of cocoa supplementation were null (i.e., no statistically significant effect seen), in this particular study, that's not to say this botanical ingredient does not support your overall health (and separate research has shown that it can have cardiovascular and cognitive perks).
Choosing your multi.
The findings of this study are certainly impressive, but it's not guaranteed that you'll receive brain and other health benefits from just any multi. Be sure to look for a multivitamin that goes way beyond "sprinkling" in basic vitamins and minerals.
Take mbg's ultimate multivitamin+, for example: Formulated with 33 premium ingredients to support longevity and whole body and brain health, this vegan multi formula (optimized for women and men) is one of the most comprehensive and potent options on the market.* We pride ourselves on supplying a high-potency, complete multi that helps you achieve daily nutritional sufficiency while delivering optimized dose, gentleness, bioavailability, and bioactivity.*
We weren't surprised to hear that taking a daily multivitamin can have a significant impact on the brain and overall health, but we were excited to see the body of research evidence growing that much more with this large and compelling study. Just remember, before you select just any multi, take a look at the quality and concentration of its ingredients. You need a robust multivitamin to truly see the results.
Merrell Readman is the Associate Food & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. Readman is a Fordham University graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in film and television. She has covered beauty, health, and well-being throughout her editorial career, and formerly worked at SheFinds. Her byline has also appeared in Women’s Health. In her current role, she writes and edits for the health, movement, and food sections of mindbodygreen. Readman currently lives in New York City.