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Results from our recent survey on the use of vitamins and supplements to help memory loss and dementia.

At Unforgettable we’re always looking for new ways to improve the lives of those living with memory loss and dementia. To do this it’s important we learn first-hand from you, our customers, how we can help tackle the daily challenges. We recently asked you to take part in a survey about the use of vitamins and supplements to help with cognitive function, memory loss and dementia. We did this because we wanted to understand if we should start selling them on the Unforgettable marketplace, and if we could help out by bundling together all those that may be good for memory loss, or developing a multivitamin that contained those taken most often.

What you told us was very interesting. Roughly three quarters of those who answered the survey don’t take or give vitamins to their loved ones, with around a third saying it’s because they’re not sure if they make any difference. However, more than half of these people said they’d be interested in taking or giving supplements with more evidence to their effectiveness, for instance if they were endorsed by a university.

From the group that did take or administer supplements, the most common were Omega 3 and Vitamin B12. Almost half of these people started doing so because they’d read research that suggested they could help, but over two thirds thought they were helping but couldn’t be sure. Only 13% had seen a noticeable improvement since beginning to give them to their loved ones.

A key theme that came up in your comments was that there was a lot of information around vitamins and supplements that you didn’t fully trust, with conflicting reports and some seemingly only existing to sell more vitamins. You told us that you wouldn’t expect us to sell them without well proven evidence they could help, with some people even going as far as to say they’d think less of us for doing so.

So we’ve decided not to sell vitamins and supplements on Unforgettable.org. The clinical evidence that many of you are looking for doesn’t exist, so it’s not possible to prove they help once and for all. Those of you who have faith that vitamins can help, or take them because do no harm, are already able to buy them from a variety of places, so us stocking them wouldn’t really help you out.

We’ll keep our eyes peeled for any better evidence that vitamins can help with memory loss, or slow the onset of dementia, and if we find it, we’ll be sure to report it to you. A big thank you for helping us continue in the right direction on our mission to make life better for those living with dementia, we hope you’ll continue to give us your thoughts, so we can achieve it together. If you’ve got ideas you want to share with us, or challenges you think we should explore, get in touch via happytohelp@unforgettable.org

Some statistics from the survey:
• 487 responses
• 26% do currently take or administer vitamins to address concerns about brain health, memory loss and dementia, 74% don’t.

From those who took or administered supplements:
• 67% thought they helped but couldn’t be sure, 20% said there had been no change and 13% said there had been a noticeable improvement
• 87% would recommend them to a friend

From those who didn’t take or administer them:
• 39% weren’t sure that they work, 23% didn’t know they could help and 12% didn’t know which ones to buy
• 53% would be more likely to buy them with an endorsement of their effectiveness from a university, 13% with an endorsement from a charity