Supplements are an easy way for people who struggle to get enough of vital vitamins and minerals from the foods they eat.
Vitamins and minerals play an important role in healthy function of the body, particularly in how the brain works.
Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D are linked to maintenance of thinking skills in older age.
Other vitamins vital for a healthy brain are B vitamins, according to Holland & Barrett.
There are eight essential B vitamins:
- Thiamine (vitamin B1)
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- Niacin (vitamin B3)
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
- Vitamin B6
- Biotin (vitamin B7)
- Folic acid (folate)
- Vitamin B12
The high street health store states they work together to help convert food into energy, but also have their own jobs within the body, including helping brain function and development.
It explains: “As we get older, our brains lose neutrons, the cells that send electrical impulses to and from the brain.
“Scientists think this is one reason why our memory and other thinking skills decline as we age.
“But in a 2010 study by Oxford University, researchers found that B vitamins can slow down how fast we lose these brain ells.
“Scientists gave folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 to a group of over-70s suffering from memory loss and concentration difficulties.
“After two years, the scientists found those taking Vitamins had low fewer neutrons than those on the placebo.”
While B vitamins are available in supplement form, they are also available in a variety of foods.
B1 is found in foods such as peas, wholegrain breads, eggs and fresh and dried fruit.
B2 sources include milk, eggs, fortified cereals and rice.
B3 is in meat, fish, wheat flour, eggs and milk.
B5 is found in almost all meats and vegetables, as well as wholegrain such as brown rice and wholemeal bread.
B6 is in a variety of foods including pork, fish, bread, eggs, vegetables, peanuts, milk and potatoes.
B7 is found in a wide range of foods but only at very low levels.
Folate and folic acid sources include broccoli, brussels sprouts, liver, leafy green vegetables and chickpeas.
B12 is in meat, salmon, cod, milk, cheese, eggs, and some fortified cereals.