A multivitamin may be your secret weapon for lasting brain health | Health Direct USA

Should You Use A Liquid Multivitamin For Brain Health?


Science Proves Multivitamins Improve Brain Health, Combat Mental Fatigue, and Boost Mental Wellness

In today's fast-paced world, where demands on our time and attention are constantly increasing, keeping your head above water takes extra effort. It's crucial to take care of your brain health and cognitive functions. With our long days and intense lives, mental fatigue is common…sometimes your mind just gets worn out! Should you use a liquid multivitamin for brain health and to combat mental fatigue?

Mental fatigue, characterized by feelings of exhaustion, lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating, can steal your joy and make life a trudge. But it doesn't have to be that way. We continue to see research that shows certain vitamins and minerals found in multivitamins can help alleviate mental fatigue by supporting neurotransmitter synthesis (neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that help neurons talk to each other), enhancing energy production in brain cells, and protecting against oxidative stress which eats away at cells leaving them damaged and barely functioning.

Multivitamins are dietary supplements containing a combination of essential vitamins and minerals. While they're often associated with physical health benefits, emerging research suggests they can also be crucial in supporting brain health and longevity.

While multivitamins are not a panacea for all mental health issues, they can certainly play a valuable role in supporting brain function and combating mental fatigue. By providing essential nutrients, supporting neurotransmitter production, protecting against oxidative stress, and enhancing energy metabolism, multivitamins are a simple and easy-to-use way to promote overall brain health.

Be Kind To Your Mind

The brain is a powerhouse of activity, constantly demanding essential nutrients to function at its best. A broad-spectrum multivitamin provides a convenient and comprehensive way to ensure your brain gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs for optimal performance.

Nutrients in multivitamins, like B vitamins and minerals, like magnesium and zinc, play crucial roles in supporting cognitive function. They also support sharpness and clear-thinking capabilities while combating mental fatigue, maintaining and improving how well your brain works, and supporting cognitive aging.

Vitamins & Minerals in a Good Multivitamin

The brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which occurs when an imbalance between antioxidants and harmful free radicals exists. Free radicals have an unpaired electron, which leaves them unstable and constantly trying to steal an electron from someone else. As a result they can create havoc and damage throughout our bodies. Antioxidant vitamins help neutralize free radicals. This is very important when it comes to our fragile brain tissues.

Antioxidants are also key to protecting brain cells from damage and preserving our mental acuity. However, not all antioxidants can help; it's essential to have a multivitamin formula that contains antioxidants that can cross the blood-brain barrier, which provides a protective shield surrounding the brain.

Vitamins and minerals are fundamental to synthesizing neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers facilitating communication between brain cells. For example, vitamin B6 is essential for producing serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), all of which play critical roles in mood regulation and cognitive function. Vitamins found in a good multivitamin supplements are also involved in energy metabolism, the process our bodies use to convert food into usable energy. By supporting efficient energy production within brain cells, these vitamins can help stave off mental fatigue, promote alertness, and improve memory and clarity of thought.

Why Everyone Needs a Liquid Multivitamin for Brain Health

Numerous clinical studies show that vitamins play vital roles in supporting cognitive function and overall brain health. Among these, vitamin B-complex (including vitamins B6, B9, and B12) is essential for neurotransmitter synthesis and maintenance of nerve cells. Research has shown that deficiencies in these vitamins can lead to cognitive impairment and mood disturbances.

Multivitamins containing adequate doses of B vitamins in their proper form are shown to help keep us sharp mentally and combat both physical and mental fatigue.

Antioxidants are nutrients like vitamin C, E, and selenium that help protect brain cells from oxidative stress, which we discussed is caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress is akin to rusting in your cells and has been shown to be involved in various neurodegenerative diseases as well as contributing to cognitive decline. Clinical trials have shown that antioxidant supplementation improves cognitive function and reduces the risk of age-related cognitive impairment. Studies also point to antioxidants making a significant contribution to long-term brain health.

Your grandma probably told you that fish is brain food; she wasn't wrong! Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, found in fish oil, are essential for brain development and function. These fatty acids play crucial roles in neuronal membrane integrity, neurotransmitter function, and neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to adapt and grow over our lifetimes.) Research indicates that omega-3 supplementation can enhance cognitive performance, improve mood, and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. A good multivitamin should include omega-3 fatty acids to support optimal brain function and mental well-being.

Micronutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and iron are also involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and regulation. Deficiencies in these micronutrient levels have been linked to mood disorders, cognitive dysfunction, and fatigue too. When I'm coaching clients with concerns about their cognitive health and difficulty staying asleep, one of my first considerations is that they might need to add some trace minerals to a glass of water before bedtime. People often run out of these important nutrients overnight if they aren't getting enough of them during the day.

Supplementing with a multivitamin containing these micronutrients can help maintain neurotransmitter balance, help stabilize mood, and maintain or improve cognitive performance.

Finding The Perfect Multivitamin For Brain Health

When looking for a multivitamin to address your health concerns, including brain health, overall body health, skeletal strength, energy, and support for health conditions like heart disease, immune fortification, and protection against aging, the first consideration is absorption.

The digestive process is a race against time when it comes to the form of supplements you're taking. The most difficult form to break down is a tablet. They are slow to dissolve and often coated with carnuba wax. Does that ring a bell? Yep, that is the basis of Turtle Wax, the stuff you use to wax your car. Gel caps have a better absorption rate but still only render about 60-70% of the full amount of what's in the capsule. By far, the greatest absorption comes from a liquid form of vitamin which has a 90-100% absorption rate.

Next up, you want to find a formula with a fairly high amount of B-complex vitamins. Your Bs are involved with energy production, metabolism, and how efficiently your body converts food into usable energy. Then look for a formula that goes one step further with B vitamins - look for methylated Bs. [You can read more about this in our previous blog post.] A well-rounded B-complex formula can help combat mental fatigue by supporting the brain's energy needs, combating feelings of mental exhaustion, and blasting away brain fog. The effects of these B vitamins on energy levels may be noticeable within a few weeks of consistent supplementation.

If we are under stress, we burn through B and C vitamins - fast! New innovations in vitamin delivery include things like Pureway-C. While most vitamin C flushes from your body in 2 hours, Pureway is documented to stay in your body for 24 hours. This is great because your body needs C around the clock.

A formula that includes the adaptogenic herb ashwagandha helps with stress resilience. Adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha balance our bodies. Our bodies will absorb more of less of them as needed. Ashwagandha helps the body adapt to and cope with physical, mental, and emotional stress. It improves the brain's resilience to the effects of fatigue and burnout. It takes about 4-8 weeks for the body to balance out.

Not everyone loves fish (raising my hand), but it truly is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA. Research shows that those fatty acids boost cognitive function and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline. They are also neuroprotective, and they prevent and protect from the damaging effects of mental fatigue to the brain.

Minerals are vital to our health. They are the building materials for our bones, are involved in muscle and nerve function, and help regulate our body's water balance. Minerals are also part of our body's production of hormones, enzymes, and its biochemical activities. You only need small amounts of them so they are referred to as trace minerals. The minerals your body must have include iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, naturally occurring fluoride, and selenium.

But Can Multivitamins Prevent Memory Loss?

Recently researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital Brigham and Harvard Medical School published their work in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Their study showed that people 60 years or older who took a daily multivitamin had slower cognitive decline than those who took a placebo.

The report is the third part of the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS). The three studies have shown that people who took a daily multivitamin for up to three years slowed cognitive brain aging by two years. Previous studies analyzed data from 5,000 adults 60 and older and conducted cognitive assessments of them. The most recent study followed nearly 600 participants over two years. Researchers results in the last study replicated those results from the previous two.

The combined research found that taking a daily multivitamin supplement could help slow age-related cognitive decline by as much as two years. It also replicated that taking a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement can prevent memory loss and slow cognitive aging.

Research shows multivitamins slow cognitive decline.

Other studies show that depression, dementia, and mental impairment are affected by deficiencies of B vitamins. This was clearly demonstrated in a study from the Wayne State University School of Medicine. Other studies show that depression, dementia, and mental impairment are affected by deficiencies of B vitamins, which was also part of the results in the Wayne State study. In fact, the lead author of the Wayne State study believes a B12 deficiency is the underlying cause of more cognitive decline issues than we think, especially among older people who live alone and aren't getting proper nutrition.

Columbia University Irving Medical Center, which was part of the larger COcoa study, validated the results of the COSMOS study. By following more than 2,200 older adults, it showed that a daily multivitamin improved overall cognition, memory recall, and attention. Furthermore, they found that the effects were more pronounced in people with underlying cardiovascular disease. Also, those study participants with cardiovascular disease were found to have lower micronutrient levels; many of them saw their condition corrected with daily multivitamin supplementation.

Multivitamins Are Important for Health as We Age

Another part of the larger COcoa study published in 2023, also included in the COSMOS database, showed people who took a multivitamin for a year performed better on an immediate word recall test. Participants read 20 unique words that were unrelated/random. They were asked to read them several times in a row. Then, the researchers distracted them with another list of 20 new words. Then, they were asked to recall the first list. They found that those with multivitamin supplementation had memory improvements on this test by about 3.1 years.

As more research continues, findings support that nutrition is essential to brain health as we age. In fact, a researcher at Columbia University's Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain was quoted as saying, "The aging brain may be more sensitive to nutrition than we realized."

B Vitamins Support Brain Health

In our stressful 21st Century lifestyle that includes chronic stress and worn out adrenal systems, B vitamins are essential. In fact, Bs are referred to as the stress vitamins because we use them so quickly when we are under stress and they help our bodies cope with the impacts of stress at the cellular level. But when it comes to brain and neurological health, Bs have a special role to play. Here's a quick run down on the B Team.

Vitamin B1

The brain is one of the most metabolically active organs in the body. Without enough B1 (thiamin), which is fundamental to basic cellular functions and metabolism, we can develop neurological problems.

Vitamin B2

You've probably seen B2, aka riboflavin, added to milk. It's important for growing brains (which we now know continues throughout our lifetimes) because it acts in conjunction with enzymes in our cells. B2 helps produce energy, breaks down fats, and helps move out materials like medications.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 (niacin) works with more than 400 enzymes in the body. It helps produce cholesterol and other fats the body needs. Remember, your brain is 60% fat! Niacin is also instrumental in converting energy and acts as an antioxidant to reduce body and neural inflammation.

Vitamin B5

Pantothenic acid (B5) is involved in making coenzymes to build and break down fatty acids for energy. It also helps make carrier proteins necessary for the fat production that feeds the brain. Pantothenic acid is one of the more important vitamins for brain health support.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is called pyridoxine. It is vital to immune system strength and function and helps support many chemical reactions that affect brain health.

Vitamin B7

Most of us know vitamin B7 as biotin. Along with revitalizing hair growth, biotin helps regulate cell signals between neurons in concert with neurotransmitters. Healthy biotin levels ensure that your brain works well for quick, sharp, and efficient brain-body communication.

Vitamin B9

Most moms are familiar with B9/folate because, during pregnancy, it is crucial to the proper formation of neural tubes in a developing fetus. But throughout our lifetimes, folate is vital for brain and neurological health. It is also involved in neurotransmitter function and cellular detoxification and plays a role in balanced psychological health.

Vitamin B12

We all know that B12 (cobalamin) gives us energy. But B12 is also an essential vitamin for red blood cell production. During fetal development and continuing throughout our lives, B12 supports the development and function of the nervous system. Also important, B12 helps break down homocysteine, a protein you see on your lab reports because of its involvement with cardiovascular health. Researchers have also found that too much homocysteine can lead to dementia.

Meeting Your Multi Halfway

A good multivitamin also supports lifestyle changes that will keep your body young and your brain fit. What kind of lifestyle upgrades? Consider adding one of two of these changes...and then building upon them.

  • Regular physical activity, such as walking, jogging, swimming, or strength training, can help boost energy levels and improve cognitive function.
  • Getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night and practicing good sleep hygiene complements the brain-boosting benefits of your daily multivitamin.
  • Taking breaks, practicing relaxation techniques like meditation, and enjoying leisure activities can help reduce stress and mental fatigue.
  • Limiting or eliminating your vices like alcohol, drugs, and nicotine improves the effectiveness of your multivitamin (the body isn't using the nutrients to backstop extra damage.) Giving up some of those habits also has benefits for your mental well-being.
  • Getting some natural sunlight and spending time outdoors can help regulate mood-maintaining chemicals like serotonin and other "happy" neurotransmitters.
  • Having a strong support system of friends and family lifts our emotions and generally helps combat feelings of mental fatigue (Unless it's that never-ending worldview discussion with your Uncle...those are exhausting.)

When we make adjustments to our lifestyle, our body is able to use a broad spectrum multivitamin more efficiently and with better results. Rather than repairing deficiencies, your body can use those same nutrients to build and optimize itself. This is especially true of our brain tissues and functions.

Why You Can't Eat Your Way To Multivitamin Support Anymore?

The first rule of thumb for healthy living is to try to get your nutritional support from the foods you eat and then make up for the gaps with supplements. Generally, that still applies; except, our foods are losing their nutritive value. Popular vegetables have seen significant losses in their mineral and vitamin contents since 1950. Today's fruits and vegetables don't supply the same nutrition as the ones your grandma ate.

Garden crops nutrition values are declining.

A recent study in the US revealed that important nutrients in garden crops are up to 38% lower compared to 1950-60. On average, declines in the 43 vegetables analyzed showed

  • Calcium content declined 16%
  • Iron declined by 15%
  • Phosphorus declined by 9%.
  • Riboflavin (B2) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) both dropped significantly too.

Why foods are losing their mojo...

After World War Two, we experienced food shortages. To address the issue, scientists developed/hybridized crops to have higher yields. This was also the dawn of "better farming through chemistry," with the rise of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides to boost food production. We basically put farming on steroids...and it worked.

Cereal harvest yields rose 175% between 1961 and 2014. Wheat was manipulated in the US to provide more grains per stalk, but they were smaller grains, so the stalks wouldn't break. This was great because we could feed more people, but it had a downside. The new, more concentrated wheat grain had higher gluten levels, and more of the oil surrounding each grain that acts similarly to poison ivy's "self-protective" oils increased, too.

While yields went up, their nutritional levels declined. The 170-year Broadbalk experiment is one of the oldest continuous agronomic experiments in the world. Researchers have been studying organic and inorganic fertilizers on wheat since 1843. What's interesting is that while they have seen soils stay the same, the new versions of the plants have lower nutrient values. This ongoing study is one I keep an eye on in hopes that they find the right key to volume production without sacrificing food's nutritional value.

A Hassle-Free Solution with 140+ Vitamins, Minerals, Fruits, Super Foods, Veggies, Herbs, Spices, Macro Minerals and Microminerals

If you're like me, you've spent a lot of money, and you probably have a counter in your kitchen or bathroom covered in bottles. Ugh! I was so glad the day Jim Caras, founder of Health Direct, released Nature's Optimal Nutrition Energize. I literally did the arm sweep across my counter and put everything in my donation bin. Jim has created a formula that is unlike any other multivitamin available.

Over 140+ Nutrients

First, it's a liquid. That's my number one requirement because you get all of your money's worth. Second, the formula contains clinically backed forms and levels of more than 140 vitamins, minerals, herbs, spices, and superfoods. The antioxidant levels in Nature's Optimal Nutrition are chart-topping, and it's been clinically shown to increase nitric oxide levels in the body. It's the only multivitamin in any form that has been proven to do that!

But best of all? Everything is in one bottle. That convenience factor is huge for me. It probably is for you, too. In our fast-paced world, anything that makes it easier to take good care of your body is a worthwhile investment...if you'll use it. The convenience of Nature's Optimal Nutrition removes one more barrier to being consistent. Simply pour out 1 ounce and drink it straight or add it to your morning OJ or smoothie. Boom! Done.

And even better, we're seeing more and more research that it's a great liquid multivitamin for brain health! What good is growing old if you aren't mentally fit to enjoy it? The science is in and it definitely shows that a high absorption and broad spectrum multi is part and parcel of a long, happy, and mentally spry life.

Want to Learn More?

References

  • Grima NA, Pase MP, Macpherson H, Pipingas A. The effects of multivitamins on cognitive performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;29(3):561-9.
  • Hanna S, Lachover L, Rajarethinam RP. Vitamin b₁₂ deficiency and depression in the elderly: review and case report. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2009;11(5):269-70.
  • Lachance L, Ramsey D. Food, mood, and brain health: implications for the modern clinician. Mo Med. 2015 Mar-Apr;112(2):111-5.
  • Tardy AL, Pouteau E, Marquez D, Yilmaz C, Scholey A. Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue and Cognition: A Narrative Review of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. Nutrients. 2020 Jan 16;12(1):228

About the Author

Lisa Moretti is a Certified Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), the largest nutrition school in the world. She was at the top of her cohort in 2015. She's professionally been involved in the natural health and supplement world since 1981.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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