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Effect of micronutrient supplementation on well-being and mood

Lawrence K et al., Symposium Nutrition and Health, 8th European Congress of Psychology, 6 – 11 July 2003, Vienna, Austria (Abstract Book)

Bei demselben Probandenkollektiv wie bei der zuvor beschriebenen Studie wurde auch der Einfluss der Einnahme von Juice Plus+® auf die Befindlichkeit untersucht. Positive Parameter wie Wohlbefinden, Aktivität und Extrovertiertheit zeigten steigende Trends, hingegen wiesen negative Parameter wie Müdigkeit, Introvertiertheit und Depression sinkende Trends auf. Trotz dieser eindeutigen Trends waren die Ergebnisse statistisch jedoch nicht signifikant, was die Autoren u. a. auf die für diese Fragestellung relativ kurze Zeit der Supplementation von 7 Wochen zurückführen.
Lawrence Kitty (Institute of Social Medicine, University of Vienna,Vienna, Austria)

Co-Author(s): Prock P., Bieger W., Bayer P., Rathmanner T., Kunze M., Rieder A., Kiefer I.

Abstract (engl.)

Background: There are already a number of studies investigating the relationship between mood and diet. Due to the role of vitamins and minerals in the nervous system studies have examined the correlation between micro-nutrient status and mood. The potential for suboptimal intake of essential vitamins and minerals exists, through poor food choices and reduced levels of certain minerals in the soil. In an effort to attain improved levels of vitamins and minerals, micronutrient supplementation has been suggested as a viable approach.

Objective: This paper examines the possible effects on well-being of supplementation on men and women with a natural phytonutrient and antioxidant preparation, derived from a mixture of dried fruits and vegetables. The work formed part of a larger study investigating the gender specific differences in dietary habits and changes in plasma micronutrient status following dietary supplementation.

Study Design: A group of 59 healthy adults (26 men & 33 women, age range 40–60 yrs) were selected, following a clinical examination to determine health status and suitability for the study. All participants were asked to continue with their usual diets and fill in both a food frequency questionnaire and a mood-adjective checklist at the start of the study, at week 7 and week 14. The subjects were split, randomly, into two groups. Antioxidant supplement preparations and placebos were given to both groups in accordance with a double blind crossover procedure. Total trial period was 14 weeks with crossover at week 7. Blood samples were taken from all subjects at the start, at week 7 and week 14 and plasma levels of the micronutrients b-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and folic acid were measured. Results: Dietary analysis showed that, in general, men consumed significantly less fresh fruit and vegetables than women. Neither men nor women achieved five or more portions of fruit/vegetables per day. Men, in general, consumed more potatoes and meat/meat products than women. Plasma levels of all nutrients studied rose significantly during supplementation for group 1. For group 2 significant increases in plasma nutrient levels after supplementation were observed for b-carotene, C, E, and folic acid. Men in both groups showed a trend (not significant) towards improved activity and well-being. Men in group 1 reported reduced introvertedness and tiredness (p<0.05) during supplementation. Women in both groups showed a trend (not significant) towards reduced introvertedness, tiredness and depression during the supplementation period. Women in group 1 showed increased feelings of introvertedness once supplementation ceased (p<0.05).

Conclusions: This study has shown a positive trend towards improved mood through Ôlow doseÕ, short term, supplementation with a multi-vitamin/mineral preparation. Our data suggests that in healthy subjects supplementation could have the greatest benefit in improving well-being, especially activity, tiredness, introvertedness and mood. Further studies carried out over longer time periods using natural multi-nutrient supplements would be required to clarify whether there is a definite positive effect. Gender specific studies would also help identify specific potential benefits for men and women.