Vitamin B clinical trials first to use neuroimaging technology

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Two clinical trials into B vitamin supplementation have been carried out at Swinburne. ©iStock
Two clinical trials into B vitamin supplementation have been carried out at Swinburne. ©iStock

Related tags: Brain

Supplementation with B vitamins significantly improves general mental health, reduces subjective stress and increases vigour and overall mood in mentally demanding situations, according to research from Melbourne’s Swinburne University.

Professor Andrew Scholey, director of the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology​, presented the results of clinical trials on B vitamin supplementation at Vitafoods in Hong Kong.

Two clinical trials into B vitamin supplementation have been carried out at Swinburne. These studies have been the first to examine the effects of vitamin supplementation through the use of neuroimaging.

With his team, Professor Scholey mapped brain activity using Steady State Topography, a state-of-the-art technology invented at Swinburne, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which detects blood flow changes in the brain. 

Both technologies showed increased activation in parietal-frontal brain regions associated with attention and working memory. The parietal lobe is one of the four major lobes of the cerebral cortex in the brain. 

“The results of our recent scientific work adds to the available evidence and confirms that multi-vitamin supplementation can support mental performance and mood. They also confirm that these supplements can influence brain activity,” said Professor Scholey. 

In 2015 Swinburne received the University Research of the Year award​at the inaugural NutraIngredients Awards held in Geneva, Switzerland, for research on the cognitive effects of an extract found in turmeric. 

The two Swinburne trials into B vitamin supplementation were funded by Bayer​. 

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