Study: Multivitamins Don’t Boost Brain Health

Taking a daily multivitamin for brain health might be a waste of time and money for most people, new research suggests. A 12-year study of nearly 6,000 healthy older men found no greater brain benefits associated with vitamin and mineral supplementation than from daily dosing with an inactive placebo, according to a report published in the Dec. 17, 2013 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers divided participants into two groups: One group took a daily Centrum Silver multivitamin, and the other took a placebo pill with a similar appearance. Participants’ brain function was assessed via telephone every two years using a battery of tests designed to measure memory performance. After more than a decade of daily pill consumption, the participants who took multivitamin supplements had no better brain function than those who took inactive pills, the researchers found. “No matter which way we broke it down, there was null effect,” the study’s lead author said. Other research published in the same journal issue suggests that daily multi-vitamin use did not prevent heart problems or led to a longer lifespan, either—leading the editors to conclude that “…vitamins are not working.”

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