Apr 12, 2023

Can Multivitamins Boost Your Brain Health?

While we wait for additional research, experts say there are a number of things you can do to help keep your brain healthy. In fact, up to 40 percent of dementia cases may be prevented or delayed if certain risk factors are managed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, make sure your doctor is "aggressive" in helping you manage those conditions, Lyketsos says. He also recommends staying active, both socially and physically. Move as much as you can throughout the day and aim for 2½ hours a week of moderate-intensity exercise, plus a few days of strength training, the GCBH recommends.

Other tips: Cut back on alcohol and find healthy ways to manage stress, Nordvig says. "A life balance that stimulates, empowers and fulfills you are all wonderful to preserve brain health," she adds.

And when mealtime comes around, make sure the food on your plate is "colorful" — think leafy greens and bright berries — not beige or brown, Baker says.

Experts don't expect any eventual cure for dementia to come in the form of a single pill — be it a multivitamin or a breakthrough drug. The Alzheimer's Association says it "envisions a future where there are multiple treatments available that address the disease in multiple ways — like heart disease and cancer — and that can be combined into powerful combination therapies in conjunction with brain-healthy guidelines for lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity."

Editor's note: This story, originally published Sept. 15, 2022, has been updated to include the results of a new study published May 24, 2023, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Rachel Nania writes about health care and health policy for AARP. Previously she was a reporter and editor for WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C. A recipient of a Gracie Award and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, she also participated in a dementia fellowship with the National Press Foundation.

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