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Multivitamins and Minerals May Slow Cognitive Decline

Cognitive decline as we age was once considered inevitable, but researchers are finding that there may be ways to slow it and possibly even prevent it. Recently, researchers from Australia discovered that an herbal supplement combining more than 50 vitamins minerals, antioxidants, and plant extracts may improve memory in mature women.

The researchers were based at the NICM Collaborative Centre for Neurocognition at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. The findings were published in the journal Psychopharmacology online ahead of print on October 18, 2011.

Study participants included 56 mature women suffering from cognitive decline. Half of the group consumed the herbal supplement and half the group consumed a placebo. The herbal supplement contained, among other ingredients, calcium, magnesium, CoQ10, ginkgo, St. Mary’s thistle, grape seed and turmeric.

After 16 weeks, the group that took the herbal supplement showed higher mental functioning, as measured by response times during memory and attention tasks. The researchers also noted a decrease in homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is associated with dementia.

The researchers concluded that supplements may help with cognitive decline, but they could not identify which components of the herbal supplement used contributed to the positive effects seen in this study.

Previous studies have shown that multivitamins may aid in weight loss, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and boost general physical health. Other studies have also shown that the cells of people who routinely take multivitamins actually have a younger biological age.

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