Multivitamins and Brain Function

Tess Thompson

Multivitamins are preparations meant to supplement a healthy human diet. These preparations contain micronutrients like vitamins and dietary minerals along with other nutrients. These are available over-the-counter, and according to US regulations, are considered under the category of food. Only injectable vitamin formulations are available only by prescription and need to be administered under medical supervision.

Vitamins are known as micronutrients, and very little amounts are required for normal body functioning. Multivitamins are mostly used as healthy supplements for those on a restrictive diet or those who will not, cannot, or do not eat a nutritious diet, to avoid vitamin deficiency. Multivitamins can provide support for all ages, particularly the elderly, as vitamin deficiency can have an adverse affect on brain functioning.

With advancing age, activity levels are reduced, and the digestive system also starts to become less efficient. This directly impacts the amount and the quality of food that seniors eat. Moreover, there are also certain myths attached to diet for the elderly. All this may result in impaired brain functioning that may lead to memory loss and other symptoms associated with dementia.

B-Vitamins were originally thought to be a single vitamin, but are now separated into several B vitamins. Cobolamin or vitamin B-12 is used to treat pernicious anemia. Thiamin or vitamin B-1 maintains appetite and growth. Pyridoxine (B-6) is essential for metabolism of specific proteins and aids in the digestive process. There are adequate studies to show benefits of B vitamins in improving brain functioning. This class of vitamins aids the enzymes that regulate neurochemicals, or organic compounds that convey messages between neural cells in the brain.

Free radicals in the body cause oxidation damage. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that attack and damage cell membranes. Since the brain is made up largely of fatty acid, it is more vulnerable to attacks from these free radicals. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that helps in neutralizing free radicals in the body. Vitamin C is naturally available in citrus fruits and is also a component in basic commercial multivitamins and adult memory products along with Vitamin B and other essential minerals.

Brain health becomes a major concern for most of us only when we reach middle age, but basically all of us want our brain to work at optimal speed and efficiency. Brian health should actually be a primary concern right from when we are young and should remain so throughout life. Maintaining a balanced diet should be enough, but in the event of conditions where we can not, multivitamins can play an important role to supplement it.

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