Life Extension Update
Meta-analysis concludes beneficial effect for vitamin and mineral supplementation on mood
Tuesday, February 5, 2013. People who consume vitamin and mineral supplements appear to be in a better mood than supplement nonusers according to the results of a meta-analysis published online on January 29, 2013 in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine.
Sara-Jayne Long, BSc and David Benton, DSc of the University of Swansea in Wales analyzed eight double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials that evaluated the effects of multivitamin and mineral supplements on aspects of mood in a total of 1,292 healthy men and women. The supplements contained varying levels of vitamins and minerals, and were administered for at least 28 days. Stress, mild psychiatric symptoms, anxiety, depression, elation, perceived energy levels, confusion, and agreeableness versus hostility were among the aspects of mood evaluated in the trials before and after treatment.
When the research duo looked at trials that examined stress, supplemented subjects had a 65 percent lower risk of perceived stress compared to those that received a placebo. The analysis uncovered a 70 percent lower risk of mild psychiatric symptoms, a 68 percent lower risk of anxiety, a 73 percent reduction in experiencing fatigue and a 77.25 percent lower risk of confusion among supplemented participants. Happiness and decreased hostility levels were also likelier among supplement users in analyses of studies that analyzed these factors. Supplements that contained high doses of B vitamins tended to elicit greater benefits than those that had lower amounts.
"It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the diets of the samples in the studies evaluated did not provide optimal nutrition," the authors write. "The fact that there was a greater response to the supplements that offered doses higher than those suggested by RDAs calls into question whether RDAs or dietary reference values (DRVs) provide intakes that adequately meet the needs of the brain. The present findings also call into question the existing wisdom that, in industrialized societies, the consumption of diets containing sufficient energy and protein will naturally provide sufficient levels of micronutrients."
"Multivitamin/mineral supplementation has a beneficial effect on many aspects of mood and mild psychiatric symptoms in healthy populations," they conclude. "The possibility that micronutrients may be beneficial in clinical populations warrants further investigation."