Multivitamins May Boost Brain Health in Older Adults, Study Finds
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that taking a daily multivitamin may have cognitive benefits for older adults. The study focused on adults aged 60 and above who took a multivitamin (Centrum Silver) daily compared to those who took a placebo. The results indicated that the group taking the multivitamin scored slightly higher in overall cognitive ability and notably better in episodic memory, which involves the ability to recall events or experiences. This study adds weight to the idea that older adults looking to maintain cognitive health could benefit from taking a multivitamin.
Recommendations for vitamins and supplements can be confusing due to the lack of regulation by the US Food and Drug Administration. It is generally easier for our bodies to absorb nutrients from food rather than in vitamin form. Therefore, health professionals emphasize the importance of a well-rounded diet. While some vitamin companies do third-party testing to ensure quality, it is ultimately up to individuals and their doctors to decide if adding a supplement or vitamin makes sense for them.
Dr. Alexa Mieses Malchuk, a board-certified family physician, suggests that brain health is closely linked to overall wellness. Therefore, it is important to establish habits that support overall health before considering brain health or vitamins. These habits include preventing cardiovascular disease, staying active, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a healthy diet.
It is worth noting that the study focused specifically on older adults, and the results cannot be generalized to other age groups. However, one of the strengths of the study was the use of a formal neurocognitive test to compare results. While there is not enough evidence to make a recommendation for the general population, multivitamins are generally considered low risk, and most people can add them to their daily routine without issues.
The study did not identify a specific vitamin or mineral that contributed to the cognitive benefits observed. Rather, it examined a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement, such as Centrum Silver, which typically contains a variety of nutrients. While more research is needed to pinpoint the specific nutrients that play a role in memory protection, it is generally understood that nutrient-dense foods that are good for overall health are also beneficial for brain health.
When choosing a multivitamin, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional who can consider factors such as age, individual health, and other medications being taken. It is important to be cautious when purchasing vitamins or supplements online, as not all brands may be reputable or make legitimate claims. Some reputable multivitamin brands include Thorne and Nature Made, which offer options specifically designed for adults over 50.
While daily multivitamins are generally safe, it is important to be mindful of certain vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, which can be overdosed on and are not easily excreted from the body. Additionally, herbs have a greater potential to interact with medications, so it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using them.
In conclusion, the recent study suggests that taking a daily multivitamin may have cognitive benefits for older adults. However, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between vitamins and brain health. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before adding any supplements or vitamins to your routine.
Original Story at www.cnet.com – 2024-02-09 20:00:00