(HealthDay News) – For older male physicians, long-term multivitamin supplementation is not associated with cognitive benefit, according to a study published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Francine Grodstein, ScD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a double-blind trial to evaluate whether long-term multivitamin supplementation affects cognitive health in later life. Participants included 5,947 male physicians, aged ≥65 years, from the Physicians’ Health Study II who were randomized to receive multivitamin or placebo from 1997 to June 1, 2011. Over 12 years, up to four repeated cognitive assessments were conducted by telephone interview.

The researchers observed no difference between the groups in the mean cognitive change over time or in the mean level of cognition at any of the four assessments. The mean difference in cognitive change over follow-up was −0.01 SU for the global composite score for treatment vs. placebo. There was no difference between the groups in the secondary outcome of verbal memory (mean difference in cognitive change over follow-up, −0.005 SU).

“These data do not provide support for use of multivitamin supplements in the prevention of cognitive decline,” the authors write.

The study was partially funded by a grant from BASF. Study agents and packaging were provided by BASF and Pfizer; study packaging was provided by DSM Nutritional Products.

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