Got exams? You can boost your chance of good grades by taking a simple multivitamin supplement, according to a study that nutritionists at Northumbria University published in Psychopharmacology.
The researchers did an experiment with 215 working men aged between 30 and 55. Half of them were given a placebo daily for thirty days; the other half were given a daily effervescent tablet containing a high amount of vitamin C and B vitamins, a considerable amount of zinc and little magnesium and calcium. The preparation the researchers used was Bayer’s Berocca. For the record, Bayer Consumer Care [bayercare.com] funded the research.
At the end of the thirty days, the researchers put the men through a battery of tests. Those who had taken the vitamins did better in some of the tests than the men in the control group.
For instance, the men in the vitamin group felt a little better at the end of the supplementation period: they had a lower score on the Profile of Mood States, which is a positive sign. They were also mentally less fatigued.
The researchers also got the men to do an arithmetic test. They had to subtract 3 from a number between 800 and 900. The men in the Berocca group made fewer mistakes than the men in the control group.
"Taken together with previous results showing beneficial effects of vitamin/mineral supplementation in healthy children [Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jan; 91(1): 115-30.] and adults [Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2000 Jun; 150(2): 220-5.] [S Afr Med J. 2000 Dec; 90(12): 1216-23.] these findings further suggest that augmenting vitamin/mineral levels in healthy, normal populations may provide beneficial effects in terms of brain function", the researchers conclude. They also mention the possibility that the subjects did not all have a healthy diet, and therefore maybe consumed too few vitamins and minerals.
"Given that a large section of the population are unable or unwilling to eat the adequately balanced diet that would satisfy their micronutrient requirements, it seems that supplementation with multi-vitamins/minerals may be a useful and possibly necessary option for this portion of the population."
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Jul;211(1):55-68.