Multivitamin lifts brain activity, memory

(Medical Xpress)—A daily multivitamin supplement may improve brain efficiency in older women, according to new research from Swinburne University of Technology.

Centre for Human Psychopharmacology researcher at Swinburne, Dr Helen Macpherson's four month study of the commercial product Swisse Women's Ultivite 50+ found some evidence that multivitamin supplements may influence cognitive function by altering electrical activity in the brain.

"The main finding of the study was that 16 weeks supplementation with the Swisse Women's 50+ multivitamin modulated brain activity," Dr Macpherson said.

"This is an important result as it shows there are direct effects of multivitamins on the brain.

"Previous research has used measures of behaviour to determine whether multivitamins can affect , but this is the first trial to directly measure ."

The study was conducted over 16 weeks with 56 women aged between 64 and 79 who were concerned about their memory or experiencing memory difficulties. They were randomly assigned to take the multivitamin supplement or a placebo daily.

Volunteers underwent a recording of their brain electrical activity whilst performing a spatial working .

The research was published in Physiology and Behavior.

A previous paper published in Psychopharmacology reported that multivitamin supplementation improved behavioural performance on a similar task, in the same group of participants.

The study concluded that 16 weeks of supplementation with a combined multivitamin, mineral and herbal formula may benefit memory, by enabling the brain to work in a more efficient way.

"When considered with our other findings of benefits to , there is increasing evidence that multivitamins may be useful to combat in the elderly," Dr Macpherson said.

Related Stories

The case for multivitamins

Apr 14, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- UCI's Frances Jurnak explains how daily supplements, if taken correctly, can benefit lifelong health.

Recommended for you

Continuing the quest for better stroke therapies

11 hours ago

Helping people recover from the debilitating effects of a stroke is an immensely complex challenge that requires deep knowledge of neurophysiology as well as effective therapy. Advancing such knowledge to improve therapeutic ...

At last, hope for ALS patients?

14 hours ago

U of T researchers have found a missing link that helps to explain how ALS, one of the world's most feared diseases, paralyses and ultimately kills its victims. The breakthrough is helping them trace a path to a treatment ...

User comments