Because the brain is the most metabolically active organ in the body and micronutrients can modulate energy metabolism and blood flow in the brain, researchers from Northumbria University in England and Bayer HealthCare examined if a single dose of the Supradyn multivitamin/mineral + CoQ10 product affected these parameters.
Data published in Nutrition & Metabolism indicated that the single-dose did affect blood flow in the frontal cortex portion of the brain, and whole-body metabolic measures including increasing fat oxidation and total energy expenditure.
Extending the supplementation for eight weeks produced similar affects later on, they wrote.
“The logical conclusion that can be garnered from the results here is that, if it is possible to beneficially modulate core physiological processes such as energy metabolism and cerebral blood-flow by simply administering vitamins and other micronutrients to healthy members of the population, then it must be the case that the nutritional status of the sample, and by implication the general population, is inadequate,” wrote the researchers, led by David Kennedy from Northumbria University.
“If it is the case that our results reflect wide-spread nutritional insufficiency, and given the challenge that shifting the general population’s dietary patterns poses, then, in the absence of a healthy diet, supplementation with vitamins and other micronutrients may prove a useful method of recharging nutritional status for a section of the population.”
Kennedy and his co-workers recruited 97 healthy women with a mean age of 33 to participate in their randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-groups study. The women were randomly assigned to one of three groups:
Supradyn with vitamins and minerals at 100% of the 2008 EU RDAs + 4.5 milligrans of CoQ10 (1RDA + CoQ10); Supradyn with vitamins and minerals at 300% of the 1990 EU RDAs but no CoQ10 (3RDA); or placebo. It should be stressed that there were differences between the 1990 and 2008 EU RDAs and the 300% value is not three times the 2008 values.
Results showed that cerebral blood-flow (CBF) parameters in the frontal cortex increased in the 1RDA + CoQ10 group but not the 3RDA group, compared with placebo.
“Naturally, the question arises as to why the CBF effects were greater in the treatment containing lower levels of water soluble vitamins,” said the researchers. “The obvious answer is that the 1RDA treatment also contained CoQ10, which is intricately intertwined with the working of the vitamins with respect to mitochondrial function, and which may also exert an independent effect in terms of NO synthesis.
“Supplementation with CoQ10 has been shown to consistently engender improvements in peripheral endothelial function and other cardiovascular parameters, which would be expected to co-vary with modified brain vasodilation.”
In terms of the metabolic parameters, the researchers reported significant increases in total energy expenditure, carbohydrate and fat oxidation only in the 3RDA group, which they said could be related to the higher doses of calcium and vitamins C and D in the 3RDA group.
Despite the improvements to blood flow and metabolic measures, no significant improvements in cognitive function were recorded by the researchers.
“The lack of cognitive effects may be attributable to several factors; this was a comparatively small study with less than 30 participants per group (as opposed to over 100 per group in previous cognitive studies showing benefits of multivitamins/minerals; the participants were fitted with restrictive head gear and a face mask, potentially introducing physical or psychological noise into the data; and the cognitive outcomes did not have a baseline that could be used as a covariate, greatly reducing the sensitivity of the assessment,” they wrote.
“The results of the current study suggest that simple supplementation with micronutrients, many of which are implicated in fat oxidation, mitochondrial metabolism and vasodilation, can increase fat oxidation, total somatic energy expenditure and cerebral blood-flow during task performance following a single dose, and increase energy expenditure following 8 weeks supplementation.
“Given that there was no interaction between task demands and treatment related effects, it is possible that these effects could also be seen at rest, and likely that they would be evident during physical exercise. These possibilities deserve further research attention.”
Source: Nutrition & Metabolism
2016, 13:11, doi: 10.1186/s12986-016-0071-4
“Multivitamins and minerals modulate whole-body energy metabolism and cerebral blood-flow during cognitive task performance: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial”
Authors: D.O. Kennedy, et al.