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Could multivitamins boost well-being and energy levels?

By Stephen DANIELLS , 19-Feb-2013
Last updated on 19-Feb-2013 at 18:51 GMT2013-02-19T18:51:50Z

Daily consumption of a multivitamin may boost consumers’ perception of mood and energy levels, says a new study from Australia.

The study, funded by Australian supplement manufacturer Swisse Vitamins Pty Ltd., is said to be the first randomized clinical trial to examine the subjective experience of taking a multivitamin.

Scientists from The University of Melbourne and Swinburne University of Technology used a high dose vitamin supplement, providing daily doses of B vitamins at 185% to 4500% the RDI, 365% the RDI of vitamin C, 100% the RDI of vitamin D, and up to 475% the RDI for vitamin E. The supplements also provided calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron, and extracts from Ginkgo biloba, Vitis vinifera, Silybum marianum and Camellia sinensis.

“The finding of participants reporting significantly increased mood and energy is in line with results of previous multivitamin and B vitamin complex research; adequate B vitamin levels are critical for neuronal communication and energy generation,” they wrote in the Nutrition Journal.

“Importantly, very few participants experienced any negative effects, and no significant adverse reactions were identified in the study.”

Study details

Led by Jerome Sarris, the researchers recruited 116 people to participate in their study and qualitative data was obtained from 114. The participants were randomly assigned to receive Swisse Men’s Ultivite F1 or Swisse Women’s Ultivite F1 or placebo for 16 weeks.

Analysis of the qualitative data revealed that women in particular reported a beneficial effect on energy levels following supplementation with the multivitamin.

In addition, the researchers reported a trend towards better sleep in the multivitamin group, compared with placebo.

Regarding mood and emotional state, 15.1% more participants in the multivitamin group reported improvements, compared with the placebo group. This difference was statistically significant, said Sarris and his co-workers.

“Overall the exploratory experiential data provided by the participants was found to reflect the general findings of previous quantitative trial data; multivitamin supplementation may be associated with appreciable mood enhancement and increases in energy even in a normal, non-depressed and non-anxious population.

“Future RCTs are encouraged to adopt a similar mixed-methods approach,” the concluded. 

Source: Nutrition Journal
2012, 11:110
“Participant experiences from chronic administration of a multivitamin versus placebo on subjective health and wellbeing: a double-blind qualitative analysis of a randomised controlled trial”
Authors: J. Sarris, K.H.M. Cox, D.A. Camfield, A. Scholey, C. Stough, E. Fogg, M. Kras, D.J. White, A. Sali, A. Pipingas

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