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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2018, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (5): 322-328.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2018.06.001

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of vitamin supplementation on inflammatory markers and psychological wellbeing among distressed women: A randomized controlled trial

J.M. Oliver-Baxter a, H.S. Whitford b, D.A. Turnbull a, M.J. Bond c   

  1. a School of Psychology, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
    b Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia
    c School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia

  • Received:2017-10-24 Accepted:2018-04-24 Online:2018-09-09 Published:2018-06-07
  • Contact: M.J. Bond; E-mail: malcolm.bond@flinders.edu.au
  • Supported by:
    This work was supported by partial funding from Blackmores?.

Background
Multivitamins are a popular supplement taken to promote physical and mental health. During periods of stress, they may have a protective role for health and wellbeing, although the current evidence of their efficacy is mixed.


Objective

To determine whether multivitamin supplementation impacts psychological and inflammatory markers of women who are experiencing psychological distress.


Design, setting, participants and interventions

An 8-week randomized controlled trial was conducted to assess changes in both psychological state and pro-inflammatory markers of patients receiving multivitamins or placebo. The sample comprised women who reported elevated psychological distress in the previous 4?weeks.


Main outcome measures

Psychological state was assessed using Spielberger’s State-Trait Personality Inventory to assess anxiety, curiosity, depression and anger. Pro-inflammatory markers comprised interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-5, IL-6, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and TNF-β.


Results

Improvements across time were observed for all psychological measures and cytokines, except IL-5, but were independent of the active intervention. Only TNF-β demonstrated a significant differential change between groups over the course of the intervention, in favour of multivitamin supplementation (active group mean rank decreased from 11.1 to 7.1; placebo group mean rank decreased from 8.9 to 7.8).


Conclusion

The results suggest that administration of multivitamins was not effective in improving psychological state. However, some evidence supported the positive impact of multivitamin supplementation on pro-inflammatory cytokine profiles of women currently experiencing stress.

Key words: Psychological stress, Cytokines, Vitamins, Randomized controlled trial

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