There are several benefits to taking a multivitamin. These supplements provide essential nutrients your body needs. Though you can get most of these nutrients from the foods you eat, some conditions can prevent your body from properly absorbing them. For example, your skin may lose the ability to build Vitamin D when you age. Vitamin D deficiency is common in seniors and has been linked to age-related health conditions like cognitive decline, bone loss, and depression.
The key question in the multivitamin debate and dementia is whether these supplements can help reduce cognitive decline. Researchers are currently pursuing randomized, placebo-controlled (high-quality) trials to determine the effect of multivitamin supplements on older adults. A new study published in Alzheimer's & Dementia describes the effect of cocoa extract and a daily multivitamin on cognitive performance in adults 65 and older. According to the research team from Wake Forest University, whereas cocoa extract didn't appear to have any statistically significant impact on people's cognition, the multivitamin seemed to give people a slight cognitive boost compared to the placebo. The effect was stronger in participants with a history of cardiovascular disease. Although the results are potentially meaningful, there's no reason to rush to buy over-the-counter multivitamins. The experts still discuss possible mistakes and limitations of the study design. They are also interested in whether the findings are reproducible. If another study group can confirm that finding, it will make them more reliable. Additional studies using blood biomarkers and brain imaging to examine these supplements' effects would also be beneficial. Until the results are conclusive, the experts are not recommending the general use of multivitamin supplements for preventing cognitive decline.
Generally speaking, vitamins are essential to your health. They can protect cells from free radicals, which cause damage to organs and tissues. However, it is unclear whether taking vitamin supplements in pill form offers the same benefits as receiving them from a balanced and nutritious diet. Also, certain vitamins may be harmful when taken in high doses, and in a multivitamin product, you get all different vitamins, many of which you might not need at all. Supplements can be confusing. Vitamins are essential but can cause harm at the same time. For example, taking high doses of vitamin A supplements can cause liver damage. Vitamin K can make warfarin less effective. So, if you have cardiovascular disease or take warfarin for any other reason, talk to your doctor before taking a multivitamin supplement.
Thus, you might prefer to speak to your doctor before taking a multivitamin supplement.