Multi-component supplement may ease negative impacts of stress: RCT

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© nensuria / Getty Images
© nensuria / Getty Images

Related tags stress management Rhodiola rosea Green tea extract Magnesium B vitamins RCT

A combination of magnesium with vitamins B6, B9, and B12 plus extracts from rhodiola and green tea may promote a relaxed state and reduce stress perception, says a new study from Europe.

Scientists from the University of Leeds in England report that the combination also increased the immediate recovery from stress exposure, while also offering protection from negative mood disturbance and reducing subjective anxiety.

“In a moderately stressed population, the combining of Mg and B6, B9, B12 vitamins with selected rhodiola and green tea extracts conferred significant functional benefits when faced with an acute stressor compared to a placebo and the non-fully combined treatment,” ​they wrote in Nutritional Neuroscience.

“Mg, B vitamins, rhodiola and green tea extracts therefore represents a promising combination of ingredients that may enhance coping capacity and offer protection from the negative effects of stress exposure that is worthy of further investigation.”

The study was funded by Sanofi Aventis, which also provided the supplement formulations used by the participants.

Stress management

As reported by NutraIngredients-USA last summer​, US sales of stress management supplements, which includes mood support and sleep products, were reported to have increased over 35% year-on-year, according to data provided by SPINS.

Sales of these supplements in the mass channels* and natural channels** totaled almost $400 million from January to July 2020, compared with $294 million for the same previous period in 2019, equivalent to 35.7% growth.

In addition, data from 2020 NutraIngredients-USA​’s survey, ‘State of the North America Supplements, Health & Nutrition sector 2020’​, conducted in association with DuPont, found that, in addition to immune support products, our respondents viewed “stress management” as a big winner for 2020, with sleep support and probiotics rounding out the top three.

Study details

One hundred moderately stressed adults were recruited to participate in the double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel group study, and were randomly assigned to one of four groups: Group one received Mg (150 mg elemental) plus B vitamins (B6 at 0.7 mg, B9 at 0.1 mg, B12 at 0.00125 mg) plus green tea (125 mg containing 40% L-theanine) plus rhodiola (222 mg); the second group received the supplement without the green tea extract; the third group received the supplement without the rhodiola extract; and the fourth group received placebo. The combined green tea/rhodiola extract formulation is branded Teadiola by Sanofi-Aventis Groupe.

The results showed that, according to results of the Trier Social Stress Test, participants in group one (the full supplement) showed significantly increased electroencephalogram (EEG) measures “indicative of a relaxed, alert state, attenuated subjective stress, anxiety and mood disturbance, and heightened subjective and autonomic arousal”,​ said the researchers.

The data also indicated that group one also experienced “superior in the attenuation of stress perception across the later recovery profile and up to 7 h post stress, and offered protection from negative mood disturbance, reduced subjective anxiety, and heightened subjective energetic arousal and alertness between 2 and 7 h after stress exposure.”

The researchers concluded: “If confirmed, there is a significant practical benefit of a non-pharmaceutical method of reducing the negative impact of stress considering the associated profound detriment to the quality of life of individuals and substantial social and economic societal costs.”

Source: Nutritional Neuroscience
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2021.1909204
“A combination of green tea, rhodiola, magnesium and B vitamins modulates brain activity and protects against the effects of induced social stress in healthy volunteers”
Authors: N.B. Boyle et al.


* SPINS definitions for mass channel: The Conventional Multi-Outlet Channel (powered by IRI) covers the Grocery Outlet (store with $2M+ annual ACV), the Drug Outlet (chains and independent stores, excluding Rx sales), and selected retailers across Mass Merchandisers, including Walmart, Club, Dollar, and Military representing over 105,000 retail locations.

** SPINS’ Natural Enhanced Channel is composed of full-format stores with $2 million+ in annual sales and 40% or more of UPC coded sales from natural/organic/specialty products​. It Includes co-ops, associations, independents, and large regional chains (excludes Whole Foods & Trader Joes).

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