Have You Ever Wondered

  • if taking lecithin or gingko biloba can help prevent memory loss? No, but it's a common wish, especially for those who constantly misplace eyeglasses or shoes! In fact, no conclusive studies show that taking lecithin (a type of fat) or gingko biloba improves memory, thinking, or learning. Under a doctor's supervision, gingko biloba may be used to help treat the symptoms of age-related memory loss and dementia.
  • if taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement is a good idea? Consuming a wide variety of food, in sufficient amounts, is the best approach to adequate nutrition, no matter what your age, if you're healthy. However, your physician may suggest a multivitamin/mineral supplement meant for older adults, especially if you limit your food choices. For older adults, supplements with vitamin B12, vitamin D, and perhaps calcium are recommended. Talk to your doctor about any supplement before you take it.

Medications may have side effects related to food or nutrition. To learn about interactions among food, nutrients, and medications, see "Food and Medicine" in chapter 22.

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