The randomised clinical study assessed the effects of supplementation with multivitamins in a group of 138 healthy adults - revealing a possible benefit in levels of stress, anxiety and physical fatigue in at home reporting, but not in chronic laboratory tests.
Led by Dr David Camfield from Swinburne University, Australia, the research team use of daily multi-vitamin (MV) supplementation has become popular amongst the general public, yet it is only more recently that scientific studies have been undertaken in order to confirm the purported benefits of MV supplementation for general health and mood.
The new study aimed to assess these effects in a long term randomised trial that used both clinical tests of mood in addition to self reporting of stress and anxiety via mobile phone technology.
"The current 16-week study assessing the effects of MV supplementation on general health and mood in a young (20–50 year old) healthy sample found few significant differences in laboratory-measured mood outcome measures when compared to placebo," explained the researchers, writing in Appetite.
"However, at home mobile-phone assessments revealed that MV supplementation was associated with a significant reduction in stress, anxiety and fatigue ratings on days when MV supplements were consumed as normal," the team said - adding that this may suggest that the multivitamins have a short-term effect on such measures.
Camfield and his team set out the initial goal of testing the long-term effects of MV supplementation - containing high levels of vitamins B, C, D and minerals - in a group of healthy young adults aged between 20-50 years.
"Very few significant changes in general health and mood were found to be associated with 16-weeks of MV supplementation," note the authors - adding that the supplementation resulted in no significant alteration to any of the primary endpoints: the GHQ-28 total or its subscales.
"Similarly, no significant MV treatment effects were found for the POMS, PILL, Chalder fatigue and Bond-Lader/VAS scales pre-MTF," the researchers confirmed.
No significant amelioration of fatigue effects was found to be associated with MV supplementation in response to an extended multi-tasking framework either, they added.
"However, at home mobile-phone assessments revealed that MV supplementation was associated with a significant reduction in stress, anxiety and fatigue ratings on days when MV supplements were consumed as normal," they team confirmed
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.05.016
"The effects of multivitamin supplementation on mood and general well-being in healthy young adults. A laboratory and at-home mobile phone assessment"
Authors: A. Pipingas, D.A. Camfield, C. Stough, et al