Taking a daily multivitamin appears to boost brains of adults over 60, but more study is needed

  • FILE - Multivitamin tablets are photographed in Philadelphia on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011. A study published Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows a daily multivitamin may boost memory function in some people, although the results don't change recommendations about use of the supplements. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Millions of American adults take daily multivitamins, even though the pills have not been shown to prevent ailments like heart disease or cancer and experts say it’s better to get nutrients from food.

The latest research looks at whether taking a daily vitamin can have an effect on memory. The study found multivitamins may boost memory function in some people, by the equivalent of three years of normal, age-related memory loss.

While the study isn’t comprehensive enough to warrant broad recommendations to take vitamins, it provides important information about their use, said Adam Brickman, the Columbia University professor of neuropsychology who led the study.

“Well-designed research studies are showing that there might indeed be some benefits ” to taking multivitamins, he said.

Further study is needed to determine exactly which nutrients might make a difference.

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