Don’t buy into brain health supplements - Harvard Health
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About 25 percent of adults above 50 years of age try to improve their brain health and memory by taking supplements.
These pills claim to enhance memory, attention and focus, protecting against Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but offer no proof of effectiveness or safety.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet.
And they can be a distraction from healthy lifestyle practices that confer much greater benefits.
More than 90,000 products generate about $30 billion every year in the United States.
But even though supplements are popular, there is limited evidence that they offer any significant health benefits - the health benefits are negligible or nonexistent for the average, healthy person.
This is an umbrella term that includes everything from vitamins and minerals to botanicals and biosimilar products.
For the most part, though, people use "supplement" to refer to an individual vitamin or mineral preparation or a multivitamin.
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Studies demonstrate that multivitamins don't improve outcomes on a number of health measures, from staving off cognitive decline to preventing cardiovascular disease and cancer. The health b...
In the US, supplements are regulated like food — and not drugs — under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, pill makers can basically put whatever claims they want on their bottles.
One analysis of supplement websites found 81 percent made at least one health claim — and more than half of those promised to treat, prevent, diagnose, or cure specific diseases. But a quick thought exercise will tell you that if these pills were truly panaceas, the FDA would have to treat them like drugs, not foods.
Back when undernutrition and vitamin deficiencies were widespread, supplements made some sense. But now one of the more urgent health problems is obesity and overnutrition while a growing body of studies shows that supplements’ effects are minimal or negative.
Remember that you can’t know for sure what's really in your supplement bottle. And that the pills probably won't make you any healthier (unless you have a medically diagnosed deficiency). And they might even be hurting you.
Because of the potential risks and unclear benefits of supplements, most doctors advise against them. However, doctors often recommend specific vitamin and mineral supplements to their patients, such as calcium and vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis and iron for people with iron deficiency.