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Can a multivitamin keep your brain healthy?

Can a multivitamin keep your brain healthy?
By Harry S. Jacob, MD
Internal Medicine, Primary PartnerCare Physicians, PLLC
Date:  Dec 01, 2023
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Harvard Health Publishing

Millions of people take a multivitamin each day. Some believe it’s a sort of insurance in case their diet is missing some essential nutrient. Others believe it will ward off disease by boosting immunity, improving brain health, or regulating metabolism. It’s easy to see where these ideas come from: ads tout wide-ranging health benefits, even though most offer little or no evidence to back up the claims.

But research on the health benefits of multivitamins has been mixed at best. This year, for example, the US Preventive Services Task Force, a leading authority on preventive healthcare, reviewed 90 of the best available studies on supplements and vitamins, concluding the products didn’t protect healthy adults lacking nutritional deficits against cardiovascular disease, cancer, or death from all causes.

As a practicing internist, I am NOT suggesting everyone stop taking vitamins. However, staying healthy is just not that easy. It is lifestyle choices and often what patients call “bad genes” whether it’s true familial disposition to certain diseases or strong hereditary linkages. The best way to stay healthy is to know your numbers and partner with a primary care doctor you trust.