Multi-ingredient supplement activates brain response to ease stress

By Asia Sherman

- Last updated on GMT

Researchers used fMRI to investigate the beneficial impact of Mg-Teadiola and the interplay between stress and pain pathways at the brain level  © Tim Robberts / Getty Images
Researchers used fMRI to investigate the beneficial impact of Mg-Teadiola and the interplay between stress and pain pathways at the brain level © Tim Robberts / Getty Images

Related tags stress management Sanofi Magnesium Rhodiola rosea B vitamins Green tea

A combination of magnesium, rhodiola, green tea and vitamins B6, B9 and B12 may reduce stress and pain perception in healthy individuals by triggering certain brain activity, according to a recent study.

“Data suggest a potential mechanism of action related to improved executive functions—potentially impaired by chronic stress—resulting in better control of stress response and pain experience, culminating in enhanced well-being,” a team of French researchers wrote in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

The research, conducted at the University Hospital Clermont-Ferrand, was partially funded by global pharmaceutical and healthcare company Sanofi-Aventis, which provided the test product Mg-Teadiola for the study. 

Exploring underlying brain activity

Previous studies on Mg-Teadiola carried out by scientists at the University of Leeds in England reported that the multi-component supplement may increase immediate recovery from stress exposure​ and boost attention and focus​ under stress.

Here, the French research team sought to document the underlying brain activity in response to an acute stressor post-supplementation using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as part of a broader study​ into the effects of Mg-Teadiola on stress-related quality-of-life parameters.

“While the parent study evaluated changes in stress, anxiety and depression scores, this second study tracked changes in cerebral areas (stress matrix, pain matrix) activation related to stress during the fMRI,” the researchers explained.

They highlighted the importance of executive functioning in the interplay between chronic stress and pain perception, noting that the two share neural circuits​ that operate in the amygdala, the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex.

Study details

Of the 100 adults who participated in the primary study, this ancillary study included 40 volunteers – all suffering from stress for over one month and scoring 14 points or more on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS).  Overall, baseline characteristics and psychological profiles were comparable between the two groups. 

As in the main study, this group was randomly assigned to consume either Mg-Teadiola or an excipient placebo once a day for 28 days. The fMRI was used to visualize the interplay between stress and pain cerebral matrices when exposed to an acute physical stress (thermal pain stimulation) at baseline and after the 28th​ day (D28). Secondary outcomes included the impact of supplementation on stress, anxiety, depression and its effects on salivary cortisol levels and magnesium levels in plasma, erythrocyte, and urine. 

“Supplementation with Mg-Teadiola reduced stress on D28 in chronically stressed but otherwise healthy individuals and modulated the stress and pain cerebral matrices during stressful thermal stimulus,” the researchers reported. “These results reinforce the clinical observations, showing a benefit of Mg-Teadiola on stress and pain perception.” 

To improve the quality of data, they called for further studies involving dynamic repeated measurements of stress biomarkers upon stimulation, as well as additional evaluation of acute effects on brain matrices.

Source: Frontiers in Nutrition
"Assessing brain function in stressed healthy individuals following the use of a combination of green tea, Rhodiola, magnesium, and B vitamins: an fMRI study"
doi: 10.3389/fnut.2023.1211321
Authors: Gisèle Pickering et al.

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