Northumbria, UK—A new study conducted by researchers at Northumbria University found that multivitamins can improve mood and mental performance in middle-aged men. While most multivitamin studies deal with the elderly, this study is one of few researching the effects of multivitamins on healthy men.

For the study, 215 men between the ages of 30 and 55 were split into either a placebo or a multivitamin/mineral group. At the beginning and end of the study, the men took a sequence of mood, stress and health questionnaires, as well as physical and mental tests. Though there were no significant differences in performance between the placebo and multivitamin groups prior to the randomized, double-blind study, after one group was given proprietary multivitamins for 33 days, they reported significantly improved ratings of general mental health, reduced stress, increased “vigor” and an overall improvement in mood. They were also less tired after the mental tests, which included counting back in threes or sevens from a random number. The multivitamin used contained B complex, vitamin C and minerals. The men in the placebo group did not show any changes in these areas.

While the real benefits of multivitamins have been debated, it has been reported in several studies that multivitamin and mineral supplements influence anti-social behavior, cognition and short-term memory in children, adults and the elderly. Other studies have also found that they reduce stress and that inadequate intake of several vitamins is linked to chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis.


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, July 2010 (published online ahead of print on June 22, 2010)