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Are dietary supplements and nutraceuticals effective for musculoskeletal health and cognitive function? A scoping review

  • Published:
The journal of nutrition, health & aging

Abstract

Objective

The aim of our scoping review was to summarize the state of the art regarding micronutrients in order to identify which of them might effectively improve health status in the areas typically impaired in older people: bone, skeletal muscle, and cognitive function.

Design

Scoping review.

Methods

The Italian Study Group on Healthy Aging by Nutraceuticals and Dietary Supplements (HANDS) performed this scoping review, based on the following steps: doing a list of micronutrients related with musculoskeletal or cognitive functions, included in dietary supplements and nutraceuticals commercialized in Italy; planning a research on PubMed, according to an evidence-based approach, in order to the most relevant positive study for each micronutrient into each of the three areas involved (bone, skeletal muscle and cognitive function); identifying the micronutrients effective in maintaining or achieving an adequate health status in older people, specifying the effective and safe daily doses, according to the selected studies.

Results

In literature we found 12 relevant positive studies (1 international society guidelines/recommendations, 1 systematic review, 7 randomized controlled trials, and 3 prospective cohort studies). We showed that only 16 micronutrients resulted to have appropriate scientific evidences in terms of improving musculoskeletal health and/or cognitive function in older people: beta-alanine, calcium, creatine, fluorides, leucine, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K2, and zinc.

Conclusion

This scoping review showed that selected micronutrients in adequate doses might have an ancillary role in musculoskeletal health and cognitive functions in older people.

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Iolascon, G., Gimigliano, R., Bianco, M. et al. Are dietary supplements and nutraceuticals effective for musculoskeletal health and cognitive function? A scoping review. J Nutr Health Aging 21, 527–538 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-016-0823-x

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