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VitaminsDaily stress has a significant impact on the body resulting in added energy and nutrient needs. A recent study in Psychopharmacology has shown that daily use of multivitamins containing B complex, vitamin C and minerals can help healthy people improve ratings of stress, mental health and cognitive performance. This study evaluated 210 men between the ages 30 – 55 with full-time employment. During the course of 33 days, men received either a placebo or the vitamin/mineral supplementation. At the beginning and end of the 33 day period, study participants completed an array of physical and mental tasks as well as multiple questionnaires including mood states, stress, and general health. Results demonstrated that the group who received the B complex, vitamin C and minerals found improved cognitive performance, ratings of stress and overall mood. This study, like many others of its kind, suggests that healthy people can benefit from vitamin and mineral supplementation for specific areas of functioning and well-being.

Dr. Soszka’s Comments:

Am I surprised? No. Considering the foods that many modern industrial societies consume on a daily basis are almost devoid of many of the vitamins and minerals we so desperately need it’s no wonder that people feel better when they actually meet their nutrient requirements. It’s unfortunate that it often requires the use of pills to meet your daily needs, but due to soil nutrient depletion and processing of foods that is often the case. I always recommend seeking out locally grown organic fruits and vegetables as well as free-range, organically raise poultry and meat sources.

Also keep in mind that if you have any digestive problems that prevent you from absorbing food or vitamins, then it doesn’t matter if the vitamins that you take are the best in the world, you simply won’t absorb enough to receive benefit. I often see patients who have either poor stomach acid production or intestinal inflammation that prevents total absorption of nutrients.

Should you experience a significant improvement in energy, mood, or general well-being with vitamin supplementation, then you most likely do not have any absorption issues. This being the case you can expect long-standing benefits from supplementation.

For those of you who take vitamins but don’t notice any significant improvements, you may have an absorption issue that needs further investigation. I will typically give my patients a nutritional questionnaire and subsequent nutritional physical examination to determine what absorption issues exist.

Source:

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Jul;211(1):55-68. Epub 2010 May 8.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Neeta Lind

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