Don't Forget to Take Your Vitamins & Minerals

Long term memory improved with vitamin and mineral supplements

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The vitamin and mineral business in the United States is a multi-billion dollar industry. We take supplements for all kinds of reasons. A French researcher wanted to know if they help with memory.

According to a recently published study, taking vitamins and minerals over a period of years does seem to boost one kind of memory - long-term memory.

"Vitamins and mineral supplements may boost your memory."

The study involved 4,447 French participants between the ages of 45 and 60. They had been enrolled in the enrolled SU.VI.MAX study, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted from 1994–2002.

Participants were divided into two groups. Over an eight-year period, one group took a daily vitamin/mineral supplement, and the other group received a sugar pill.

The supplements included vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin E, selenium and zinc. Participants didn't know what they were taking. At the end of the study, they could choose whether or not to take a supplement.

Between 2007 and 2009, participants were given memory tests - neuropsychological tests, involving six different kinds of tasks.

The study found that those who received the supplements had better "episodic memory" - meaning long-term memory having to do with word recall. This improvement was seen only in nonsmokers and those who had low levels of vitamin C at the start of the trial.

The groups performed similarly in all other memory tests.

This research is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 2, 2011
Last Updated:
August 5, 2011