Both children and adults can benefit from taking a daily multivitamin supplement, as improvements in cognitive performance have been found by teams of British neuroscientists.
Groups of healthy children, men and women who supplemented their diet with commercially-available vitamins and minerals were monitored during this study.
The participants took the supplements 4 to 12 weeks daily, whilst their cognitive performance was tested through tasks requiring attention, memory, accuracy and/or multitasking ability. Mood or stress levels of the participants were also assessed.
After only a few weeks of supplementation, it was found that the vitamin and minerals improved cognitive performance. Women taking multivitamin/mineral supplements demonstrated increased accuracy and speed, whilst children, aged 8-14, showed increased accuracy in attention-based tasks.
"There's been a huge research effort into the effects of one or two vitamins on cognitive function, not the effects of many," said Professor David Kennedy.
Bridging the Vitamin gap
There is ever growing evidence that multivitamin supplements have a vast range of significant benefits. According to the UK's National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the general population in the UK has vitamin deficiencies or insufficiencies across most vitamin groups.
"A vitamin deficiency predisposes you to diseases related to having too little of that vitamin," said Dr Kennedy.
"The optimum level of a vitamin must be a way above what you need to avoid disease. [The survery indicates that] there are people out there deficient in each vitamin group. But since most people don't know which vitamins they're missing... you should take multivitamins to bridge the gap and patch up whatever you're deficient in."
Omega-3s & cerebral blood flow function
Daily supplementation with Omega-3 fish oil containing dietary DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) increases individuals cerebral blood flow whilst engaging with cognitive tasks, shows research.
"These results lend support to an emerging body of evidence which suggests that dietary DHA is influencing brain function in physiological terms," added the researchers.
Source: British Journal of Nutrition
Study: 'Cognitive and mood effects in healthy children during 12 weeks' supplementation with multi-vitamin/minerals'