Vitamins and Minerals
The percentage of young adults who had mental illnesses has increased from 2008 to 2015. However, few existing studies investigating the potential benefits of multivitamin-mineral (MVM) supplementation on mental health focused on young adults (18-24 years of age), whose eating behaviors are often unhealthy. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a MVM supplement on mental health in young adults.
Sixty-six college students (Mage=20.66, SD=1.83; 84.8% female) participated in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Participants consumed either a MVM supplement or a placebo for 30 days. The supplement contained B Vitamins, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and Abbreviated Dysregulation Inventory (ADI) were used to assess participants’ symptoms of anxiety, depression, and impulsivity/dysregulation at baseline and on day 30. ADI explored three aspects of dysregulation (behavioral, cognitive, and affective). Participants also self-reported their self-esteem, and their height and weight were recorded using standardized protocols by trained staff.
Results : Compared to placebo-controlled group, the MVM supplementation group showed a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms (P< 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference in self-esteem level, CES-D, and ADI. However, closer examination based on effect sizes revealed moderate effects of MVM supplementation on behavioral dysregulation (r=0.55) and cognitive dysregulation (r=0.13).
The 30-day MVM supplementation may have a beneficial effect on young adults’ anxiety symptoms. Although other outcomes presented no significant difference between pretest score and posttest score, some of them indicated relatively moderate effect sizes, and future work should replicate with larger samples.
Funding Sources :
Becnel, J.N. (PI), Trudo, S.P. (Co-PI). Effects of Multivitamin-Mineral Supplementation on Psychosocial and Physical Health in Young Adults with Excess Weight and of Healthy Weight. Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. 05/01/17 – 04/30/19. $150,000