A study conducted at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina has confirmed what most people already know: Vitamins are important to your health.
Specifically, the three-year study focused on some 2,000 subjects over the age of 60 and found that taking a multivitamin daily prevented deficiencies in Vitamin D and Zinc, which are known to be essential for brain health.
That study notwithstanding, supplemental vitamins are another matter.
The vitamin supplement industry is said to generate $50 billion annually in North America alone, the Daily Mail reported.
However, given that multivitamins are usually assimilated only partially – the rest is expelled through waste – skeptics see the findings as a predictable affirmation of another health industry cash grab. One unnamed expert branded the idea as a “huge waste of money,” while another anonymous person said that multivitamins actually cause heart problems for healthy individuals in their twenties.
Dr. Laura Baker, an expert on aging who led the study said, “Our study showed that… daily multivitamin-mineral supplementation resulted in statistically significant cognitive improvement.”
‘[But] it’s too early to recommend daily multivitamin supplementation to prevent cognitive decline.”
‘While these preliminary findings are promising, additional research is needed in a larger and more diverse group of people. Also, we still have work to do to better understand why the multivitamin might benefit cognition in older adults,” she explained.
Dr. Douglas Scharre, a neurologist at Ohio State University, told UPI, “People have been using supplements for memory boosting for hundreds of years, and some are so common you find them for sale in a grocery store.”
‘The truth is, for some people, these products may provide some benefit, but for most they do not.”
“That’s definitely a concern, because these supplements aren’t going to help you if you’re experiencing memory loss as a result of Alzheimer’s disease, sleep apnea or another disorder,” Scharre said.
“There is a danger in people using them to ‘self-medicate memory problems’ without undergoing a medical evaluation to identify the root cause,” said pharmacist and researcher Anne L. Hume.
Dr. Sarah Lock, senior vice-president of the AARP voiced, “Supplements for brain health appear to be a huge waste of money for the 25 percent of adults over 50 who take them.”
“These people taking these pills are spending between $20 and $60 a month and flushing dollars down the toilet that could be better spent on things that actually improve their brain health.”
California-based cardiologist Dr. Danielle Belardo said the most common cause of heart arrhythmia presenting in her 20-something patients is a function of ingesting herbal supplements.
“This is drawing on the cusp of what we know with regards to herbal supplements and arrhythmia,” Belardo told Insider. “Since there’s such poor regulation of the formulation, the purity, and the efficacy of these herbals, we don’t have any robust literature to tell us exactly what’s causing what.”
“By all means, if you’re experiencing memory loss or feel like your brain isn’t working right, go get checked out,” she advised.
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