When it comes to supplements, I find that most people fall into one of two categories: They either completely dismiss the importance of taking anything… or they resort to taking a simple, one-and-done multivitamin.
But both stances completely miss the mark.
For one, the typical formula for your standard multivitamin has barely changed since the 1940s… meaning they were designed to address outdated lifestyle concerns, using outdated dosage standards. Meanwhile, taking nothing at all doesn’t provide your body with the support it may need to function optimally.
In fact, new research reveals that taking a regular, high-quality multivitamin—one that’s designed for today’s needs, using current science—could slow brain aging by 60 percent.
That’s a nearly TWO-YEAR DELAY in memory decline linked to smart supplementation.
Here’s everything you need to know…
Delay memory decline by years
This impressive finding was the conclusion of the COSMOS-Mind study of more than 20,000 older subjects. It was part of a larger placebo-controlled trial looking at the effects of both cocoa extract and a standard mineral/multivitamin on cardiovascular and cancer outcomes. Researchers also looked at the effects that both supplements had on executive functioning and memory.
(They were primarily determined to see how cocoa flavanols affected Global Cognitive Function scores. Examining the effects of a multivitamin was the secondary goal.)
Ultimately, the study didn’t show a link between cocoa flavanols and cognitive function—which was quite a surprise to me. (I’ve written a lot about the positive health benefits of chocolate here, especially when it comes to brain and cardiovascular health.)
But researchers did find that the brain benefits of the multivitamin peaked at two years—and stayed the same from there. (They saw improvements in global cognitive function, memory, and executive function.)
Plus, even those with heart disease saw an improvement in cognition, simply by taking a multivitamin. (People with cardiovascular disease tend to have lower cognitive function scores for a multitude of reasons, too vast to get into here.) Whereas subjects in the placebo group kept slowly getting worse over the course of the study.
Protect cognitive function
I’d call this a win any day of the week. Especially since the research actually looked at your typical multivitamin and mineral supplement, rather than isolating single nutrients the way conventional science usually likes to do.
Still, it’s important to remember that not all multivitamins are created equal. And I definitely wonder how and why they chose the specific combination that they did.
So, allow me to offer some insight. Your high-quality multivitamin should contain at least 22 essential vitamins and minerals that contain 100 percent (or more) of the recommended daily value.
But for targeted memory support, I recommend 500 mg of L-serine per day. (You can also get L-serine from eggs, beef, pork, lentils, flaxseed, and many types of nuts.)
“Multivitamins, but Not Cocoa, Tied to Slowed Brain Aging.” Medscape Medical News, 11/11/2021. (medscape.com/viewarticle/962772)