Research - Vitamins and Minerals
A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial investigating the behavioural effects of vitamin, mineral and n-3 fatty acid supplementation in typically developing adolescent schoolchildren
Jonathan D. Tammama1 c1, David Steinsaltza2, D. W. Bestera2, Turid Semb-Andenaesa1 and John F. Steina1
a1 Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3PT, UK
a2 Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3TG, UK
Nutrient deficiencies have been implicated in anti-social behaviour in schoolchildren; hence, correcting them may improve sociability. We therefore tested the effects of vitamin, mineral and n-3 supplementation on behaviour in a 12-week double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial in typically developing UK adolescents aged 13–16 years (n196). Changes in erythrocyte n-3 and 6 fatty acids and some mineral and vitamin levels were measured and compared with behavioural changes, using Conners’ teacher ratings and school disciplinary records. At baseline, the children’s PUFA (n-3 and n-6), vitamin and mineral levels were low, but they improved significantly in the group treated with n-3, vitamins and minerals (P=0·0005). On the Conners disruptive behaviour scale, the group given the active supplements improved, whereas the placebo group worsened (F=5·555, d=0·35; P=0·02). The general level of disciplinary infringements was low, thus making it difficult to obtain improvements. However, throughout the school term school disciplinary infringements increased significantly (by 25 %; Bayes factor=115) in both the treated and untreated groups. However, when the subjects were split into high and low baseline infringements, the low subset increased their offences, whereas the high-misbehaviour subset appeared to improve after treatment. But it was not possible to determine whether this was merely a statistical artifact. Thus, when assessed using the validated and standardised Conners teacher tests (but less clearly when using school discipline records in a school where misbehaviour was infrequent), supplementary nutrition might have a protective effect against worsening behaviour.
Source : British Journal of Nutrition
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Vitamin/Mineral Supplements for Children and Adults with Autism
James B Adams
*Director, Autism/Asperger’s Research Program,
President’s Professor, Arizona State University, PO Box: 876106, Temple, AZ, USA
Vitamins and minerals are the most widely used medical treatment for autism. Many research studies have demonstrated that children and adults with autism often have nutritional and metabolic problems, including problems with methylation, glutathione, oxidative stress, sulfation, lithium, and more. This review summarizes the results of several vitamin/mineral treatment studies conducted by our group, which demonstrate that vitamin/mineral supplements are highly effective in improving many nutritional and metabolic problems, and result in significant improvements in symptoms based on a large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. We recommend that all children and adults with autism consider a 2-3 month trial of a vitamin/mineral supplement designed for individuals with autism that is similar to the one used in our studies. By starting at a low dose, and gradually increasing it, there is minimal risk of adverse effects, and many children and adults are likely to benefit, sometimes substantially.
Source : Journal Vitamins + Minerals
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Multivitamin mineral supplementation in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome
Daniela Maric,1,A,B,C,D,E,F Snezana Brkic,1,A,C,D,G Aleksandra Novakov Mikic,2,A,C,D,G Slavica Tomic,1,A,B,D Tatjana Cebovic,3,A,C,D,F and Vesna Turkulov1,A,D,E,G
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by medically unexplained persistent or reoccurring fatigue lasting at least 6 months. CFS has a multifactorial pathogenesis in which oxidative stress (OS) plays a prominent role. Treatment is with a vitamin and mineral supplement, but this therapeutic option so far has not been properly researched.
This prospective study included 38 women of reproductive age consecutively diagnosed by CDC definition of CFS and treated with a multivitamin mineral supplement. Before and after the 2-month supplementation, SOD activity was determined and patients self-assessed their improvement in 2 questionnaires: the Fibro Fatigue Scale (FFS) and the Quality of Life Scale (SF36).
There was a significant improvement in SOD activity levels; and significant decreases in fatigue (p=0.0009), sleep disorders (p=0.008), autonomic nervous system symptoms (p=0.018), frequency and intensity of headaches (p=0.0001), and subjective feeling of infection (p=0.0002). No positive effect on quality of life was found.
Treatment with a vitamin and mineral supplement could be a safe and easy way to improve symptoms and quality of life in patients with CFS.
Source : Medical Science Monitor
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Following the Evidence: Multivitamins Revisited
If you were only to follow nutrition news headlines the last few months, you might think that multivitamins are useless and that the scientific community is in complete agreement that multivitamins are a waste of money. These headlines stem from an editorial written by medical doctors (Guallar et al., “Enough Is Enough”), which claimed that “the case is closed” on vitamin and mineral supplements and that there is “no clear benefit” of taking them.
This is simply not the case. In a recently published letter in Annals of Internal Medicine, nutrition experts from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Tufts University, and the Harvard School of Public Health gather scientific evidence to show that the conclusions by Guallar and colleagues are just plain wrong.
Perhaps it would be instructive to take a closer look.
At the Linus Pauling Institute, we base our recommendations for healthy living on the up-to-date scientific evidence. So where in the literature did this new fight against multivitamin and mineral supplements begin? Besides the sensationalized headlines and the inflammatory editorials, we can point to three recent publications as the fuel for this most recent fire. But do these articles really condemn multivitamins as useless?
The first article, conducted by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, gathered data from vitamin studies involving more than 400,000 people. To quote the article directly: “Two large trials [with 27,658 individuals] reported lower cancer incidence in men taking a multivitamin for more than 10 years.” Although there appeared to be no overall effects on cardiovascular disease, there is no reason to discount these results with cancer in men (far from the misleading conclusions of “no clear evidence” for a beneficial effect of multivitamins).
According to recent national surveys, many American adults do not meet vitamin and mineral intake recommendations from diet alone: at least 93% for vitamins D and E, 61% for magnesium, and about 50% for vitamin A and calcium. Taking a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement can help to fill many of these nutritional gaps effectively, safely, and at low cost.
The second article was conducted as part of the Physicians Health Study (PHS II), which examined the effect of a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement on cognitive function in male physicians. The main conclusion of this study was that there were no significant cognitive health benefits in people over the age of 65 taking a multivitamin/mineral compared to those who took a placebo pill. However, as explained in the PHS II report, the subjects of this trial were well-nourished, highly-educated men, and clear benefits on cognition were not expected based on previous studies using multivitamins.
Nonetheless, previously published data from PHS II (the same study!!) have shown other beneficial effects of multivitamin/mineral supplements, including reduced risks of cancer and cataracts. So following a conclusion that these cognitive data provide “sobering evidence of no benefit” of multivitamin use is clearly biased toward this most recent study.
The third study utilized a high-dose multivitamin/mineral supplement to investigate the incidence of recurrent cardiovascular events in individuals after having a heart attack. The main conclusion of this study was that there was no benefit or harm of the multivitamin regimen. However, a closer look at the data showed that people taking high-dose multivitamins showed fewer cardiovascular events (such as stroke, heart attack, etc.) versus the placebo group at every time point after the first year of the study. The results never reached statistical significance, so an overall conclusion about the multivitamins could not be made.
Several limitations plagued this study. First, it was primarily designed to test the effect of chelation therapy with vitamin therapy on cardiovascular events and not just high-dose multivitamins alone. The individuals in this study were low in number (almost half left the study before its conclusion), on multiple prescription medications, and approximately 30% of them had diabetes. Additionally, this supplement was not a typical multivitamin: it contained more than the daily value (DV) of 15 of the vitamins and minerals, and contained other non-essential compounds (like citrus bioflavonoids).
Despite all of this, there was a result from this study that is not often discussed: individuals who did not take statins but took the multivitamin showed a significantly lower event rate for cardiovascular outcomes versus those not taking statins and also taking a placebo. In other words, the use of statins – while certainly of benefit to individuals who have had a heart attack – may have obscured the cardiovascular benefits of the multivitamin therapy. If anything, the conclusions of this study should not suggest that multivitamins are “useless,” but are instead deserving of further investigation, especially in individuals who cannot take statins.
If we go beyond these three articles, the benefits of taking multivitamins are multifold: they supply micronutrients to those in more critical need, such as older adults, people who have poor access to fresh fruit and vegetables (and children who refuse to eat them), people who are obese, women who are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, and some people who are ill or injured.
The fact of the matter is that multivitamin/mineral supplements are designed to supply the body with micronutrients that allow for its proper function – they are designed to keep us in good health. Any evidence that these supplements may also help decrease chronic disease risk, like in the PHS II study with respect to cancer and cataract, should be worthy of further, better designed multivitamin trials.
The Linus Pauling Institute and others have stated that research methods need to improve in order to realize the benefits of vitamin and mineral interventions for chronic disease pervention. However, until they do, we will continue to examine the totality of the evidence from supplementation studies. The best we can do is to tell you to follow the evidence: eat a healthy diet and keep taking your multivitamin/mineral supplement — and ignore all the sensational headlines that tell you otherwise
Source : Linus Pauling Institute
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Do Nutritional Supplements Have a Role in Age Macular Degeneration Prevention?
Maria D. Pinazo-Durán,1,2 Francisco Gómez-Ulla,3,4,5 Luis Arias,6,7 Javier Araiz,8 Ricardo Casaroli-Marano,9 Roberto Gallego-Pinazo,10 Jose J. García-Medina,11,12 Maria Isabel López-Gálvez,13,14 Lucía Manzanas,15,16 Anna Salas,17 Miguel Zapata,18 Manuel Diaz-Llopis,19,20 and Alfredo García-Layana21
Purpose. To review the proposed pathogenic mechanisms of age macular degeneration (AMD), as well as the role of antioxidants (AOX) and omega-3 fatty acids (ω-3) supplements in AMD prevention. Materials and Methods. Current knowledge on the cellular/molecular mechanisms of AMD and the epidemiologic/experimental studies on the effects of AOX and ω-3 were addressed all together with the scientific evidence and the personal opinion of professionals involved in the Retina Group of the OFTARED (Spain). Results. High dietary intakes of ω-3 and macular pigments lutein/zeaxanthin are associated with lower risk of prevalence and incidence in AMD. The Age-Related Eye Disease study (AREDS) showed a beneficial effect of high doses of vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, and zinc/copper in reducing the rate of progression to advanced AMD in patients with intermediate AMD or with one-sided late AMD. The AREDS-2 study has shown that lutein and zeaxanthin may substitute beta-carotene because of its potential relationship with increased lung cancer incidence. Conclusion. Research has proved that elder people with poor diets, especially with low AOX and ω-3 micronutrients intake and subsequently having low plasmatic levels, are more prone to developing AMD. Micronutrient supplementation enhances antioxidant defense and healthy eyes and might prevent/retard/modify AMD.
Source: Journal Opthalmology
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An open-label pilot study to assess the effectiveness of krill oil with added vitamins and phytonutrients in the relief of symptoms of PMS
Michael P Wakeman
School of cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham,
Abstract: An open-label pilot study over 4months to evaluate the effectiveness of a compound formulation of ingredients, which individually have been demonstrated to be implicated in the pathogenesis of premenstrual syndrome to ameliorate the most troublesome symptoms of the condition. The supplement provided thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, vitamin D, soy isoflavones, rosemary extract, and krill oil and was taken each day for the 3 months of the trial. Statistically significant effect was reported by the 29 women who completed the study in relief of anxiety, bloating, mood swings, breast tenderness, skin outbreaks, food cravings, fatigue, forgetfulness, insomnia, and headache after 3 months of treatment compared with baseline. This pilot study indicates the formulation to be effective, and a larger placebo-controlled trial is now planned.
Source : Nutrition and Dietary Supplements
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Vitamin-mineral treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults: double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial
- Julia J. Rucklidge,
- Chris M. Frampton,
- Brigette Gorman and
- Anna Boggis
The role of nutrition in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is gaining international attention; however, treatments have generally focused only on diet restriction or supplementing with one nutrient at a time.
To investigate the efficacy and safety of a broad-based micronutrient formula consisting mainly of vitamins and minerals, without omega fatty acids, in the treatment of ADHD in adults.
This double-blind randomised controlled trial assigned 80 adults with ADHD in a 1:1 ratio to either micronutrients (n = 42) or placebo (n = 38) for 8 weeks (trial registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12609000308291).
Intent-to-treat analyses showed significant between-group differences favouring active treatment on self- and observer- but not clinician-ADHD rating scales. However, clinicians rated those receiving micronutrients as more improved than those on placebo both globally and on ADHD symptoms. Post hoc analyses showed that for those with moderate/severe depression at baseline, there was a greater change in mood favouring active treatment over placebo. There were no group differences in adverse events.
This study provides preliminary evidence of efficacy for micronutrients in the treatment of ADHD symptoms in adults, with a reassuring safety profile.
Source : British Journal Psychiatry
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Vitamins and Minerals Can Boost Energy and Enhance Mood
Vitamin and mineral supplements can enhance mental energy and well-being not only for healthy adults but for those prone to anxiety and depression, according to a July 15 panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo® held at McCormick Place.
Bonnie Kaplan, Ph.D., professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, said Monday vitamins and mineral supplements can be the alternative to increasing psychiatric medicines for symptom relief of anxiety and depression. The supplements, she said, also can provide the mental energy necessary to manage stress, enhance mood and reduce fatigue.
In a series of studies she recently conducted in Canada, Kaplan found of the 97 adults with diagnosed mood disorders who kept a three-day food record, a higher intake of vitamins and minerals were significantly correlated with overall enhanced mental functioning.
Other vitamins that have been known to enhance mood, said C.J. Geiger, Ph.D., president of Geiger & Associates, LLC, and research associate professor in the division of nutrition at the University of Utah, include 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5 HTP), Vitamins B and D, as well as ginkgo biloba and Omega 3.
In her research, Geiger has found most adults define energy throughout the day as peaking mid-morning, falling to a valley in the afternoon after lunch and recovering with a pickup in late afternoon, settling back down before bedtime. However, these peaks and valleys did vary with gender, age and climate. She said many adults are known to use coffee, soft drinks, chocolate and candy bars as well as energy drinks, bars and chews with high sugar boosts to maintain energy throughout the day. She found other adults ate more frequent, smaller meals to sustain energy while making time for lots of rest and exercise.
Source : Science Daily
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To establish the parameters of optimal nutrition do we need to consider psychological in addition to physiological parameters?
The criteria used to establish dietary reference values are discussed and it is suggested that the too often the “need” they aim to satisfy is at the best vaguely specified. The proposition is considered that if we aim to establish optimal nutrition we will gain from considering psychological ielementation in well-designed trials were reviewed. In metaanalyses the cognitive functioning of children and the mood and memory of adults has been shown to respond to multivitamin/mineral supplementation. Given the concerns that have been expressed about the negative responses to high levels of micronutrients, the implications are discussed of the finding that psychological functioning may benefits from an intake greater than those currently recommended.
Source : Journal of Molecular Nutriation Food Research
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Vitiligo treatment with vitamins, minerals and polyphenol supplementation
Background: Mammalian pigmentation results from the synthesis and accumulation of photo protective epidermal melanin. Melanin was formed from the amino acid precursor L-tyrosine within specialized cells, the melanocytes. Oxidative stress has been suggested to be the initial pathogenetic event in melanocyte degeneration with H 2 O 2 accumulation in the epidermis of patients with active disease. Auto immunity has been also suggested as another hypothesis in the pathogenesis of depigmentation disorders. Topical corticosteroids and phototherapy as common treatment modalities have been prescribed in patients with vitiligo. However, they are often not effective and safe (epidermal atrophy). Therefore, research for alternative therapies continues.
Aims: To evaluate the beneficial effects of a supplementation with antioxidant vitamins (A, C, E) and minerals (zinc, selenium) for vitiligo treatment.
Methods: Forty experimental autoimmune vitiligo mice C57BL6, aged from 5 to 12 months showing visible signs of induced vitiligo, were sequentially randomized into five parallel groups (8 mice per group). Each group mice was allocated an identical pre coded cage. the first group (SZV) received the ED+1,4 g zinc (Zn)+0.04 g selenium (Se)+vitamins (A 118 UI, C 8,5 mg, E 5,4 UI) /kg diet, the second group (PSZV) received the ED+1,4 g zinc (Zn)+0.04 g selenium (Se)+vitamins (A 118 UI, C 8.5 mg, E 5,4 UI)/kg diet+Polyphenol orally, the group 3 (PSZ ) received the ED+green tea decoction prepared from 100 g/l (polyphenol orally)+1,4 g Zn+0.04 g Se, the 4 (P) received the ED+green tea decoction prepared green tea decoction prepared from 100 g/l, the control group 5(C) received the ED++ distilled water. Cure was defined as repigmentation of treated sites. Photographic and optical techniques were used both at the baseline and on weekly basis.
Results: By the end of the study, mices showed visible repigmentation. Using the investigator's global assessment, therapeutic success in terms of a clear repigmentation documented in 70% of treated mice.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that an antioxidant supplementation is significantly beneficial in contributing superior clinical efficacy to cure vitiligo.
Source : Indian Journal of Dermatology
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