Despite the fact that millions of individuals take multivitamins for a variety of reasons, experts contend that there are no clear health advantages and that it is preferable to obtain these elements through diet.
But a recent study indicates that taking a daily multivitamin may help some people’s memory, maybe by giving their hippocampus the micronutrients it needs.
Even while research has not demonstrated that multivitamins will prevent diseases like cancer or heart disease, millions of American people still take them daily, despite the fact that doctors recommend getting your nutrients from food rather than taking pills.
The most recent studies examine the potential impact of regular vitamin intake on memory. The study discovered that multivitamins may improve memory function in certain persons by the equivalent of three years of typical, aging-related memory decline.
Adam Brickman, a professor of neuropsychology at Columbia University who conducted the study, said that even if it isn’t thorough enough to support general advice to take vitamins, it does offer useful information regarding their usage.
Taking multivitamins may have some advantages, according to “well-designed research studies,” he noted.
To precisely pinpoint which nutrients could differ, more research is required.
What you should know about the recent study that was released this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
About the study
Over 3,500 adults over 60 were followed for three years by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and Columbia University in New York.
A daily multivitamin or a fake tablet was given to the subjects at random. For three years, they had yearly evaluations via online tests that assessed memory performance.
In one experiment, participants were shown a list of 20 words one at a time for a duration of three seconds each, and after 15 minutes, they were instructed to enter all the words they recalled.
According to Brickman, the test evaluated the hippocampus, a region of the brain that governs memory and learning.
The number of words that individuals who took daily vitamins properly remembered increased from 7.10 to 7.81 after a year. Recall of 7.21 words increased to 7.65 terms in those who received dummy tablets.
According to the researchers’ calculations, the difference equated to an increase in memory that was about equivalent to three years of typical, age-related change. This improvement persisted for at least the next two years of the trial and was more obvious among those with heart disease, the research revealed.
According to Brickman, the micronutrients in the multivitamins could improve the hippocampus’s ability to operate. This is the second sizable study that the researchers have done that demonstrates how taking daily multivitamins helped older persons’ memory.
Taking a daily multivitamin increased general cognition, memory recall, and attention, according to a research conducted on more than 2,200 older persons in 2022. These improvements were more prominent in people who had underlying cardiovascular disease.
The new study was funded by the US National Institutes of Health, Mars Edge (a part of the food giant Mars), and multivitamin manufacturers Pfizer and Haleon.
About multivitamin use
According to Brickman, supplementation of any form shouldn’t replace more natural means to obtain the same micronutrients. Despite the fact that multivitamins are typically safe, patients should always seek medical advice before using them.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of kids and 60% of adults in the US take vitamins every day. The tablets are included in the almost US$56 billion that Americans spend on dietary supplements each year.
According to US dietary standards, unless an individual has special nutritional requirements or a doctor instructs them to take vitamins, people should obtain their nutrients through food.
Vitamins can fill in nutritional gaps in the diet, but taking large doses can have negative effects ranging from stomach distress to life-threatening heart and liver issues.
The US Preventive Services Task Force, a government advisory body, declared in 2022 that there is “insufficient” data at this time to evaluate the dangers and advantages of multivitamin supplements for the treatment of cancer and heart disease. For that goal, the organisation advised against using beta carotene and vitamin E.
What the results mean
According to Robert Hackman, a research nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the study, the current study suggests that vitamin supplements may fill in the gaps left by missing micronutrients, particularly in the diets of older persons.
One-third of persons over 60 do not consume enough vitamins, minerals, or fibre from diet alone.
However, taking multivitamins won’t help older persons lower their risk of cognitive loss, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
According to Heather Snyder, vice president of medical and scientific affairs for the Alzheimer’s Association, the majority of the participants in the current study were white, college graduates, and had access to and the capacity to complete online tests.
“It would be important to see independent confirmation of these results, particularly in more representative study populations,” she added.
Which multivitamin is good for brain memory?
It has been suggested that certain vitamins and fatty acids might stop or reduce memory decline. The extensive list of therapeutic treatments also includes omega-3 fatty acids, herbal supplements like ginkgo biloba, and vitamins like vitamin B12.
Is multivitamins good for brain?
A recent study reveals that taking a daily multivitamin may help keep your brain sharp as you age, but experts warn that more research is required before any health recommendations can be made.