Episode # 2

The Alzheimer's Solution Revolution

Can a Basic Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement Reduce Your Risk for Cognitive Decline and Dementia as You Age?

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Episode Summary and Audio

Should you supplement with a basic multivitamin and mineral formula (MVM) to sustain a healthy brain in aging?

Has any physician or practitioner emphasized just how important a multivitamin and mineral supplement might be for your brain and heart as you get older?

Well, as promised on my Welcome Episode last week, I’ll be expanding on a study and recent research with regard to the supplementation with vitamins, minerals and certain nutrients found in foods, and its role in the heart-brain axis in this episode of The Alzheimer’s Solution Revolution Podcast. (Summary continued below the timestamps)


Timestamp Highlights

 In this Episode

[01:18] Importance on role of food and supplemental nutrients in the heart-brain axis.

[02:00] Introduction to the COSMOS Study (COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study)
—the parent COSMOS trial.

[02:31] A sub-study of COSMOS study—COSMOS-Mind compared the effects of the same nutrients (used in the parent study)—a cocoa flavanol extract supplement, and a standard multivitamin mineral formula and their combined effect on cognitive function.

[02:50] Focus points of the parent COSMOS trial and the sub-study COSMOS-Mind.

[04:07] Differences between the terms: nutrients and nutraceuticals.

[05:28] Explanation of berberine—a plant chemical (phytochemical) that is at times referenced as a nutraceutical.

[06:16] Everyone needs a top-notch multivitamin-mineral supplement as a hedge against nutrient deficiencies and maldigestion issues as they age, and genetic variants that predisposes a person to the inability to adequately metabolize certain nutrients (e.g., MTHFR variant and folate levels).

[06:44] For example, the malabsorption of B12, and the associated implications of vitamin B12 deficiency on cognitive health in older persons.

[07:30] Several studies and a more recent study showed that vitamin C deficiency in aging individuals is linked to the risk for cognitive impairment and dementia.

[08:36] Type 2 diabetes and heart disease (cardiometabolic disease) are core risk factors for vascular dementia and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in aging individuals.

[09:36] In-depth description of COSMOS-Mind sub-study which included 2,262 adults and older adults.

[10:07] Study conclusions on multivitamin supplementation, and not cocoa flavanols, over 3 years resulted in significant slowing of cognitive aging with particular benefits for patients that were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

[12:36] Research studies dating back to the 1990s began to show that a polyphenol-rich diet, and other lifestyle factors, influenced the risk for Alzheimer’s disease in people.

[13:42] Recall of studies over 20-years ago on the role of fruits and vegetables on cognitive function, and the reduction of risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Indeed, polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables, delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

[15:32] Role of polyphenols in neurogenesis—the birth (genesis) and development of new brain cells (neurons).

[16:18] Review of another study finding supporting the point that diet (food metabolome) and exercise play a vital role in stimulating neurogenesis.

[18:40] The takeaway from this podcast, and it is one I’ll repeat often in subsequent shows, is that the science is clear—a healthy diet and lifestyle supports neurogenesis and brain health, and optimizes the goal for living younger and longer.

[19:02] Yes, this episode and coming episodes are for people in their late forties and fifties who are concerned about their brain health as they age— midlifers or older adults who want to learn about the cutting-edge science and research that empowers them with the information that enables the interventions proven to protect their brain from cognitive decline, vascular dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

[20:13] Closing remarks and a preview of the next episode—#3— which will mark #1 in the “Think Ahead” podcast series.

The study that I will be referring to today looked at the potential benefits of a cocoa extract and a multivitamin-mineral supplement (MVM) together and separately, vs. combinations of the two, vs. a placebo.

The outcomes of the various MVM and cocoa extract intakes on “Global Cognitive Function” (cognitive performance assessment) was measured by a composite global functioning score. (e.g., cognitive assessments such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment [MoCA] that are commonly used in trials and clinical settings to assess cognitive function.)

The outcome?

“Taking a daily multivitamin-mineral (MVM) for 3 years is associated with a 60% slowing of cognitive aging, with the effects especially pronounced in patients with cardiovascular (CVD) disease.”

The MVM benefit on cognition peaked at 2 years and remained stable over time and included significant improvement measures of memory composite score and executive function.

Surprisingly, no beneficial effect was linked to the intake of cocoa flavanols—a plant chemical which is part of the larger polyphenol phytochemical family— over the 3-year study period.

However, there is much more to the story regarding the potential role of lifestyle,  polyphenols and many other nutrients on brain health and stimulating neurogenesis (the growth and development of new brain cells), and in safeguarding your brain from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as you age.

Listen in as I dive into all the details!

Ralph Sanchez, MTCM, CNS, D. Hom.







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