Most patients with fibromyalgia report brain fog involving problems with cognition (information processing, concentration, memory, and speech) and mental clarity. In addition to standard care, many clinicians are interested in the role of diet. One factor important for cognitive health is daily vitamin intake. Though mixed, research in older adults shows that vitamins can improve cognitive function and reduce decline by antioxidant properties. Chronic inflammation in fibromyalgia is theorized to produce accelerated cognitive aging in fibromyalgia resulting in self-reported cognitive difficulties. Therefore, the antioxidant properties of vitamins may relate to less brain fog through neural protection. The current study investigated the associations between daily consumption of vitamins and brain fog severity. Twenty-three women diagnosed with fibromyalgia (Mage = 46.04 years, SD = 12.16; Mweight =86.89 kg, SD = 28.22) completed a scale measuring brain fog in two domains: difficulties with cognition and mental clarity. In addition, participants completed a measure of dietary intake which measured daily vitamin consumption involving A (retinol, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene), B (B1, B2, B3, B9, B12), C, D, and E. Partial correlations were conducted to test relations of vitamin intake on fibrofog domains while controlling for body weight. Overall, higher daily intake of Vitamin A related to lower cognitive difficulties; this included total Vitamin A activity (r = −.44, p = .045), beta-carotene (r = −.44, p = .044), and alpha-carotene (r = −.49, p = .023) but not retinol (p = .998). Higher Vitamin C intake was associated with lower difficulties with mental clarity (r = −.42, p = .038). Whereas, Vitamin B, D, and E were not associated with either brain fog domain (ps > .05). Though further study is called for, promoting diets rich in Vitamin A and C may improve self-reported cognitive difficulty in fibromyalgia. It is possible that antioxidant properties of Vitamins A and C protect against chronic inflammation and, therefore, advanced cognitive aging.
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