multivitamins and aging

Are Multivitamins the Secret to a Long Healthy Life?

Aging is an inevitable and universal process that presents a significant challenge in contemporary society. As populations around the world continue to age, the implications of this demographic shift are becoming increasingly prominent.

With advancements in healthcare and technology leading to longer life expectancies, the aging population is growing at an unprecedented rate, posing multifaceted challenges across various sectors such as healthcare, social welfare, and the economy.

Besides, we all want to slow down our aging process and avoid the common downfalls that come with age like cognitive decline, loss of movement, and overall strain in our health.

Considering that vitamin deficiencies in the US are on the raise as well, they can certainly offer an avenue to improve our health long term.

So are multivitamins the key of a healthy elderly life?

To find out, they did a massive study in the the US: Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS). What were the outcomes? Can multivitamins really help you?

The Global Aging Phenomenon

Across the globe, the proportion of individuals aged 60 and above is rapidly increasing, leading to a demographic shift characterized by a larger elderly population compared to previous generations. This shift is driven by factors such as declining fertility rates and improved healthcare, resulting in longer lifespans.

Assessment of the Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS)

The Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) is a significant clinical trial that holds promise for understanding the impact of cocoa flavanols, polyphenols and multivitamin supplementation on various health outcomes, particularly in relation to aging.

The study involved a large-scale, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial testing the effects of cocoa extract containing 500 mg/d flavanols and a multivitamin supplement in maintaining cardiovascular health and reducing cancer risk in a total of 21,442 participants, including both men and women across the United States.

Key Findings of COSMOS:

  1. Cardiovascular Health: The initial results from COSMOS revealed that daily cocoa flavanol supplementation showed a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health, including a 27% reduction in cardiovascular death and a 16% reduction in the total number of major cardiovascular events.
    • When participants who did not adhere to the study protocol were excluded, the cocoa flavanol supplement group demonstrated statistically significant reductions in total cardiovascular events, cardiovascular death, and major cardiovascular events.
COSMOS on cardiovascular health
Cardiovascular events (left) and CVD caused deaths (right) in placebo and cocoa taking participants.
  1. Cognitive Function: The COSMOS-Mind ancillary study is assessing cognitive function and impairment in adults aged 65 years or older, targeting the enrollment of 2,000 participants to provide statistical power across 3 years of annual follow-up.

Rationale for the Study:

With the increasing number of people experiencing cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, there is an urgent need to identify effective strategies to preserve cognitive function.

COSMOS aims to address this need by assessing the efficacy of cocoa flavanols and multivitamin supplementation in preserving cognitive function in older adults.

However, using brain supplements that contain b-vitamins, and other nootropics can also benefit younger adults to protect from cognitive decline.

Future Research

The findings from the COSMOS trial have significant implications for public health as they may provide insights into potential interventions to maintain cardiovascular health and cognitive function in aging individuals.

Further research and analysis of the COSMOS trial’s results are critical for understanding the long-term effects of cocoa flavanol and multivitamin supplementation on health outcomes.


However, the COSMOS trial’s findings are extremely positive about multivitamin supplementation, even if they are from synthetic means and no from natural sources.

Multivitamin supplementation might have benefits in promoting cardiovascular health and cognitive function among aging individuals. As mentioned, this can be explained by the poor diets and lack of proper nutrition in the US, which meal replacement shakes can be a good alternative for.

Other supplements that could help boost your micronutrient intake, and therefore slow the aging process include green powders.

The takeaway is to make sure to look at your micronutrient intake as well as your macronutrient intake, as this will have long term health effects.

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