Effects of a 6-Month Multifaceted Diet and Exercise Intervention on Cognition in Older Adults at Risk of Cognitive Decline: The PONDER Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Randomized Trial

Publication Name

Journal of Alzheimer's Disease


Background: Multidomain interventions which incorporate exercise and dietary supplementation to target both cognitive and physical health domains may be an important approach to delay cognitive decline. Objective: The Protein Omega-3 aNd vitamin D Exercise Research (PONDER) study investigated the effects of a 6-month multifaceted intervention in community-dwelling older adults with subjective memory impairment on cognition (primary outcome), physical function, and body composition with a further 6-month follow up for cognition (secondary outcomes). Methods: Single-center, community-based, parallel-group, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial involving a 6-month multifaceted intervention with a further follow-up at 12 months. A total of 147 participants [mean age 70.2 years (SD 6.1), 70% female] were randomized to a multimodal exercise program consisting of twice-weekly supervised resistance and aerobic training, combined with a daily omega-3 (900 mg EPA, 600 mg DHA), vitamin D (1000 IU) and protein (20 g) supplement (n = 73), or a control condition (n = 74) comprising stretching/flexibility sessions combined with a placebo. The primary outcome was a composite CogState measure and Trail-Making Test B-A. Results: There were no significant between-group differences in the change of cognition at 6 or 12 months or physical function outcomes at 6 months, but the intervention significantly improved total lean mass compared to controls [0.72 kg (95% CI 0.26-1.19), p = 0.001]. Conclusion: A multi-faceted intervention including an omega-3, vitamin D and protein-enriched supplement with twice-weekly exercise training did not provide any benefits to cognitive or physical function in older adults with subjective memory impairment, despite improvements in lean mass.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access





First Page


Last Page


Funding Sponsor

Australian Research Council



Link to publisher version (DOI)