Scientists are predicting that diagnosed cases of dementia are set to double over the next ten years as the world’s population continues to age. Evidence points to a relationship between the levels of individual vitamins received over their lifetime and the cognitive decline and dementia in the elderly. It seems that those who have spent years with a lack of vitamins in their diet show an accumulation of wear and tear on the brain.
There are currently many research programs into the cause and prevention of Alzheimer’s and other memory-related diseases that are related to old age. Some of the most interesting preventative solutions have shown to be as simple as taking vitamin supplements to maintain a healthy mind.
What a Healthy Brain Needs
Professor David Kennedy, Director of the Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre at Northumbria University, UK found during his research into nutrients that vitamins are essential for proper brain function. Moderating the diet correctly can easily enhance both concentration and stamina. Vitamins are required for general cellular energy production in the brain; they offer a protective role as anti-oxidants and are directly involved in the synthesis and use of all of the brain chemicals that drive brain function. Several vitamins even bind to their own brain receptors and directly affect the brain function in a positive way.
How Multivitamins Work
Although many research programs have concentrated on the B vitamins and their effect on the brain, they have generally had inconclusive results. It is generally now agreed that all the vitamins are important to a healthy mind. In order to ensure optimum benefit to the brain, taking a multivitamin ensures that all the necessary vitamins are received in sufficient quantity, rather than just supplementing specific ones at random.
Recent research carried out by Professor Kennedy concentrated on a group of males aged between 30 and 55. Previous trials have generally concentrated on the elderly. 215 participants in the trial were given a multivitamin which included vitamin B complex and vitamin C. The remaining half of the participants in the group were given a placebo. The trial lasted 33 days and during the trial the participants all had to complete questionnaires relating to stress, mood and general health as well as participating in tests on math and thinking skills.
The placebo group showed no change but those taking the multivitamin showed improved scores on the mental tests and reported lower mental fatigue. The trial concluded that optimum functioning of the central nervous system, which includes the brain, is dependent upon a wide range of micronutrients. There is supporting evidence from other studies that confirm the relationship between micronutrients and psychological functioning.
Taking a multivitamin every day is a simple, cheap and easy way to maintain general good health and avoid any deficiencies that our modern-day diets may create. In the long run, your brain will thank you for it too!
Do you currently take a multivitamin?