A Daily Multivitamin Supplement can Boost Brain Function, UK Researchers Say
Did you know that a simple multivitamin supplement, taken daily, can boost your brain’s ability to function? That’s exactly what teams of British neuroscientists are saying in a new series of studies published in the British Journal of Nutrition, Psychopharmacology, and Human Psychopharmacology. Their main focus in these studies was to investigate what effects multivitamin supplements have on mood and brain function. Here’s what they found.
After monitoring the mood and brain function of several groups of healthy men, women, and children who had taken store bought vitamin supplements for a 4-12 week period, the researchers found that the vitamin supplements boosted their brain functioning after just a few weeks of taking their vitamins. All groups – men, women, and children – had more mental energy, alertness, and accuracy in the challenges given them. Taking large doses of B-complex vitamins increased these effects, particularly in men. Supplementing subjects with Omega 3s in 1-2g amounts, while not directly affecting their brain function, did increase cerebral blood flow while they were participating in cognitive tests. Professor David Kennedy of the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Center at Northumbria University and one of the co-authors of the study, said that this suggests dietary DHA (an Omega 3 fat) influences brain function in physiological terms. This fact has big implications for aging healthily, as well as for dementia.
These effects are the result of subjects having Optimal levels of the vitamins in their systems. Optimal, Dr. Kennedy goes on to say, is way above the level required to avoid deficiency and disease. Think of it in terms of grades – If you’ve gotten to required levels of a vitamin, you are getting C’s. You pass, but no one gives you an award. If you’ve reached optimal levels, then you are getting an A. To get you’re A’s, Dr. Kennedy recommends a multivitamin, as many people are deficient in several vitamin groups. A good multivitamin should cover your bases and patch up whatever you may be deficient in.