Multivitamins and minerals could reduce appetite in women on a weight reduction regime, while lower body weight and fat mass was more obvious in men, says new research from Canada.
The study adds to the body of evidence supporting adequate vitamin and mineral consumption for health, and is published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Two studies were performed; the first looking at multivitamin and mineral consumption and body composition, and the second a double-blind, randomised controlled study compared appetite ratings recorded from the first study.
The first study, a cross-sectional survey of 267 men and 320 women aged between 20 and 65, used a dietary questionnaire. Lead researchers Genevieve Major from Laval University and collaborators from the University of Ottawa, and Pennington Biomedical Research Center (Baton Rouge) report that male consumers if vitamin and dietary supplements had lower body weight, fat mass, and BMI, compared to non-consumers.
Similar results were recorded for women. Moreover, women consumers of the supplements reported reduced hunger levels.
The intervention trial recruited 45 obese non-consumers of the supplements and assigned them to a 15-week energy restricted diet, supplemented with either multivitamins and minerals, or placebo. Energy restriction was achieved by reducing normal caloric intake by 700 calories per day.
At the end of the study, the researchers report that all groups recorded weight loss, with no statistically significant difference between placebo and supplement groups.
However, women receiving the supplements reported reductions in fasting and postprandial appetite ratings.
"The absence of any significant effect of the multivitamin and mineral supplement on body weight, energy expenditure and lipid oxidation in study 2 cannot be ignored. It could perhaps be explained by the fact that participants were not selected on the basis of a low micronutrient intake status," wrote Major.
"Overall, this suggests that an appetite-modulating effect of vitamin and mineral supplements could be more significant in individuals characterised by inadequate intake in micronutrients," she added.
Despite calling for additional research top investigate the underlying mechanisms in appetite control.
"Appetite is increased in response to body-weight loss due to variations in hormone levels implicated in the regulation of energy balance such as insulin, leptin and cortisol," they wrote.
"Since some vitamins and minerals are involved in the synthesis of these and other peptides and neurotransmitters that control food intake, a decreased micronutrient availability could affect peptide hormone levels and thus interfere with the signalling pathways that control food intake," they added.
Source: British Journal of Nutrition (Cambridge Journals)
Published on-line ahead of print, doi: 10.1017/S0007114507853335
"Multivitamin and dietary supplements, body weight and appetite: results from a cross-sectional and a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study"
Authors: G.C. Major, E. Doucet, M. Jacqmain, M. St-Onge, C. Bouchard, and A. Tremblay