Effectiveness of vitamin-B supplements on cognition in older adults: A meta-analysis

Geriatr Nurs. 2023 May-Jun:51:143-149. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2023.02.019. Epub 2023 Mar 20.


Objectives: We aimed to investigate the efficacy of B-vitamin and folic acid supplementation in slowing down cognitive function decline among older adults.

Methods: We searched databases for trials comparing B-vitamin and folate supplementation versus placebo in older adults identified with or without impaired cognition.

Results: 23 articles were eligible and included in this meta-analysis. The mean difference (MD) in homocysteine levels was significant between the compared groups (MD:-4.52; 95%CI:-5.41 to 3.63, P < 0.001). However, the difference in the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was non-significant between the compared groups with or without cognitive impairment (MD:0.19; 95%CI: -0.148 to 0.531, P = 0.27), and (MD:0.04; 95%CI:-0.1 to 0.18, P = 0.59), respectively. The difference in Clinical Dementia Rating-sum of box (CDR-SOB) scores was non-significant (MD:-0.16; 95%CI:-0.49 to 0.18; P = 0.36).

Conclusions: B-vitamin and folate supplementations significantly reduced homocysteine levels. However, it failed to provide significant benefits over placebo in preventing or slowing the decline in cognitive function.

Keywords: B-vitamin; Cognition; Cognitive impairment; Folic acid; Homocysteine; Older adults.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognition
  • Cognition Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Dementia*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Folic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Homocysteine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Vitamin B 12 / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin B Complex* / therapeutic use


  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Homocysteine