Vitamins Help the Brain? Who Knew?
Yes, I’ve been recommending various vitamins to help support brain health and function for a very long time. The notion has always resonated with me especially in the context of the increased risk of brain threatening issues in people with poor nutritional status. All the mechanisms that threaten the brain can be influenced by various vitamins and supplements including inflammation, free radical mediated stress, and even metabolic disturbances. This is especially important in that Alzheimer’s disease itself is now considered to represent the downstream brain consequence of metabolic dysfunction.
But is there good science showing, for example, that just taking a multivitamin might prove beneficial for the brain. You bet there is. In fact, in a new study put out by the Alzheimer’s Association, researchers followed over 2,000 subjects for 3 years and compared brain functional changes between those who took a multivitamin/multimineral versus those who took a placebo.
The results of this interventional study are powerful. In comparing the final measures of cognitive function, specifically global cognitive function, episodic memory, and executive function for each participant in comparison to their baseline levels at the beginning of the study, the difference between those taking the placebo versus those taking a simple, safe, inexpensive multivitamin/multimineral were profound. As the authors concluded,
Daily use of a safe, readily accessible, and relatively low-cost multivitamin/multimineral supplement has the potential to improve or protect cognitive function for older women and men.
So, while it seems like each week we’re hearing about some new and exciting supplement, there’s great support for the notion of starting with a simple multivitamin/multimineral.