Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just pop a pill for brain health as you age? Some scientists are taking a closer look at the multivitamins on the pharmacy store shelves. 

Over-the-counter daily multivitamin supplements are already incredibly popular: Almost two-in-five Americans over 60 report taking multivitamin supplements to boost their health. Plenty of the micronutrients packed into these capsules are important for brain health, too. But how much of a difference do they really make when it comes to maintaining brain health? 

In a recent blind study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 573 adults over 60 signed on to take a pill every day for two years. Some of them got  the multivitamin; others got a placebo. Good news for team multivitamin: The people who took the daily multivitamin supplement performed a bit better on memory and cognitive tests than those who received a placebo. The authors of the study also said that the multivitamin slowed cognitive aging by two years, but many outside experts disagreed with that interpretation.

But hold the phone: While the outside experts say the study is interesting, they don’t think you should rush to the supermarket and buy multivitamins just yet. 

For one, many other studies looking at multivitamins didn’t see any effect: In a 2018 review looked at all the existing evidence for multivitamins benefits to cognitive decline prevention and found no evidence that they reduce cognitive decline. Of the studies into multivitamins and brain health, most only spanned a few months at most, which makes it impossible to tell whether the multivitamins are slowing the brain’s aging over long periods of time. 

Another thing to remember: Supplements aren’t subject to FDA approval. Some might make inaccurate claims about brain benefits—and the labels and ingredients lists can’t always be trusted. In fact, there’s even evidence multivitamins could cause more harm than good and there isn’t solid evidence that it can move the dial when it comes to brain health. 

“I’m not convinced that there’s adequate evidence to support the idea that I could recommend a multivitamin to my patients with the expectation that we’ll have any actual real-world benefit,” Dr. Pieter Cohen, a neurologist at Cambridge Health Alliance who studies supplements, told Being Patient. “There are some interesting sort of results from these studies, but they’re not ready for prime time yet.”

The bottom line: After numerous clinical trials studying the potential of brain-boosting multivitamins (and other supplements too), there is still no solid evidence that they can slow cognitive decline in the long run.