Supplements have found a way into our daily lives, for some they even substitute for the real deal: food. Although they are backed by medical research, but there is always a question mark over their durability. Recently, the Global Council on Brain Health has found that nutritional products claiming to help memory, thinking skills or reduce symptoms of dementia are a waste of money. The body stressed that there is “no convincing evidence” to support their use. Instead the experts have advised people to invest in good shoes and have fish for dinner rather than throwing money over supplements that promise to boost brain health.
They are urging middle and old aged people to focus on a healthy diet followed by exercise. “If a nutritional supplement’s claims sound too good to be true, it probably is,” they say.
“Rather than buying a dietary supplement, spend money on new walking shoes or a salmon dinner,” says the Global Council’s executive director Sarah Lenz Lock. The council is an independent collaborative of scientists, health professionals, academics and policy experts.
“These eminent experts have concluded it doesn’t do any good to take supplements to promote your brain health in later life so our advice to older people is to save your money and spend it on a healthy diet, full of delicious fruit and vegetables instead,” says Age UK’s charity director Caroline Abrahams. In a meeting in Washington, the experts reviewed evidence supporting a range of products. “For most people, the best way to get your nutrients for brain health is from a healthy diet,” the council wrote in a consensus statement. “In general, there is insufficient evidence that multivitamins will improve brain health.”
“For the handful that have been researched, several well-designed studies of supplements for brain health found no benefit in people with normal nutrient levels,” they state. “Vitamin B12 deficiency and folate deficiency (also known as vitamin B9 deficiency) may negatively affect your brain health; therefore, supplementation may be beneficial for people with lower-than-recommended levels of these B vitamins,” the experts conclude.