Reposted from Drugs.com
Jan. 18, 2024 -- A daily multivitamin could help people keep their brains healthy as they age, a new trial finds.
The effect was measurable: A daily multivitamin slowed brain aging by the equivalent of two years compared to placebo.
Still, experts expressed some skepticism, and wondered if simply eating healthy might not bring about the same results.
“Taking a multivitamin supplement is probably good for you, but we don’t know if it’s likely to have a big impact in people who have a healthy diet,” Dr. Richard Caselli, a professor emeritus of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, told NBC News.
“I still maintain a bit of skepticism as far as what magnitude of impact this makes,” he added. “I’m doubtful the difference would be really big.”
The new study was led by Dr. Chirag Vyas, an instructor in investigation at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry.
“Cognitive decline is among the top health concerns for most older adults, and a daily supplement of multivitamins has the potential as an appealing and accessible approach to slow cognitive aging,” he said.
Dr. Zaldy Tan is a geriatric medicine physician at the Cedars Sinai Jona Goldrich Center for Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders in Los Angeles. Reviewing the findings, he said that some individuals probably have more to gain from multivitamins than others.
“Certainly a subset of people who are vitamin-deficient in their diets could benefit in general from a multivitamin and potentially from a cognitive standpoint,” Tan told NBC News. “But it’s hard to say right now if it’s the multivitamin causing the improvement or something else.”
For his part, Caselli believes that an overall healthy lifestyle, not a supplement, is the best way to ensure your brain stays healthy.
“A general rule of thumb is that everything that is bad for your body is ba8d for your brain and everything that is good for your body is good for your brain,” he said.
He recommends staying socially active, engaging in exercise and mentally challenging tasks, and eating a healthy diet. If people believe they aren't getting the nutrients they need from their diet, it's possible a multivitamin may help, Caselli said.
Published: February 5, 2024
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