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Multivitamins May Improve Brain Functioning Later in Life

A recent study suggests that taking a multivitamin that has vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, and antioxidants may improve the brain functioning of mature woman, perhaps by lowering levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Previous research suggests that high levels of homocysteine are linked to dementia.

Fifty-six women between the ages of 64 and 79 with complaints of memory loss participated in the study. Over the course of 16 weeks, half of the group consumed a placebo and half took the multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplement.

The researchers measured brain activity at the beginning of the trial and at the conclusion of the study. They noted that the supplement group had greater performance accuracy than the placebo group, suggesting enhanced neural efficiency.

The study was conducted at Swinburne University in Australia and published online ahead of print on August 23, 2012, in the journal Physiology and Behavior.

Previous studies have shown that multivitamins may aid in weight loss, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and boost general physical health. Other studies have also shown that the cells of people who routinely take multivitamins actually have a younger biological age.

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