Health Hotline Magazine | February 2023

NUT ITION BYTES By Geoff Brokx and Shelby Miller Study Shows Daily Multivitamin Improves Cognition In Older Adults

A study published in 2022 highlights the potential of a daily multivitamin supplement to improve cognitive function and slow cognitive decline. Named the COSMOS-Mind study, it is the first long-term, randomized controlled trial to provide evidence that taking a daily multivitamin can provide cognitive benefits for older adults. The study included more than 2,200 adults over the age of 65 who were randomized to take a cocoa extract or multivitamin for three years. The participants were subject to a variety of cognitive tests at baseline and annually, which measured executive function and memory composite scores. While the study did not find any benefits for the cocoa extract, they did find significant cognitive benefits for participants taking the multivitamin. Specifically, participants saw improvements in global cognition (which includes attention, memory, language, and verbal fluency), episodic memory (long-termmemory), and executive function (the ability to plan, organize, and multitask). The researchers pointed out the treatment e ect of three years of multivitamin supplementation appeared to slow cognitive aging by 1.8 years, or by 60 percent, and that the benefits were more pronounced in those participants with cardiovascular disease.

Multivitamins provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that work on numerous biological pathways necessary for normal brain function. Deficiencies of several of these micronutrients have been shown to increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. This study provides evidence that multivitamins can be a safe and a ordable option to prevent cognitive decline as we age.

B ack Seed Oil + Fish Oil Supplement Supports Gut & Immune Health A recent study found that supplementing with a

Study participants who supplemented with black seed oil (standardized to 3% thymoquinone) and omega-3s (1,500 mg fish oil containing 1,200 mg omega-3 fatty acids) reported 62 percent fewer “upper respiratory tract complaints,” such as cough, stu y nose, sore throat, and headaches, and better overall mood. Additionally, the group of runners who consumed the supplements had 67 percent higher levels of Streptococcus thermophilus , a strain of beneficial bacteria, and 37 percent lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, both of which are associated with immune competence and mood. The researchers summarized, “These results add to the growing scientific literature … for immune-modulation to both reduce [upper respiratory tract complaint] symptoms and improve psychological mood state in “stressed” individuals (endurance athletes in this study).”

combination of black seed ( Nigela sativa ) oil and omega-3s improved immune function and the gut microbiome in runners. It’s been established that stress—including stress caused by exercise—can challenge the immune system and lead to gut imbalances. Stress-related gut and immune impairment can cause significant challenges for not only

exercise performance, but overall health. In the study, researchers used the “exercise stress” of endurance running to challenge the gut microbiome and temporarily suppress the immune system. Participants supplemented with the black seed oil and fish oil combination or placebo for three weeks before either a marathon or half-marathon and then continued to supplement for one week afterward.

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