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Prof Bruce Ames proposed some years ago in 2010 that providing additional nutrients to diminish the adverse consequences of cellular triage (A system used to allocate a scarce commodity, such as food, only to those capable of deriving the greatest benefit from it), would result in diminished mutagenesis.[1] Very presciently he concluded his review paper by stating:

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So…. it seems that the evidence in favour of a multi-nutrient beneficially affecting brain function and cognition is increasing. The British Journals of Nutrition[1], Psychopharmacology,[2] Biological Psychology[3] and Human Psychopharmacology[4] have published a series of studies examining the effect of a multivitamin/mineral on mood and cognitive function.

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Multi Vitamins are considered by many to be little more than colourful contributors to urine flow that reflect a gullible individuals need to add capital to the water course. I have addressed the major complications with this facile comment in a previous commentary.

A paper out in the March 2010 International Journal of Obesity[1] throws added weight to the triage theory of Prof Bruce Ames,[2] when additional nutrients were added to the dietary intake of obese Chinese females. It is already understood that obesity contributes to reduced bioavailability of minerals and vitamins and certainly contributes to reduced blood concentrations.

The team of researchers based at Harbin Medical University in China recruited 96 Chinese women with an average body mass index of 28kg/m2 and aged between 18-55 for the 6 month study.

Three groups were randomly set up, with one getting a multivimin, the next calcium only (162mg) and the last placebo. The results were compelling; the multivimin group had reduced body weight, body mass index, fat mass, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. On the positive side, they had an increased level of resting energy expenditure and HDL levels also increased. They also found reduced waist size and better breathing.

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Background: Telomere length may be a marker of biological aging. Multivitamin supplements represent a major source of micronutrients, which may affect telomere length by modulating oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.