While the importance of taking nutrient supplements is well-known for the elderly, very few studies have investigated the link between vitamin intake and cognitive function among healthy adults under the age of 55.
To explore the relationship a research team from Northumbria University recruited 215 healthy men between the ages of 30 and 55 who were all employed full-time and had them blindly receive either a proprietary multi-vitamin or a placebo for a period of one month.
The investigators tested each participant both before and after the study with a variety of mood, stress and health questionnaires. They also analyzed their mental capabilities by having them undergo simple arithmetic examinations.
At the point of follow-up, the participants who took daily multi-vitamins reported considerable improvements in mood, stress levels and cognitive function. The control group participants experienced no significant benefit.
"The assumption was made here that the men tested enjoyed typical nutritional status," said lead author David Kennedy.
"However, the very fact of being able to improve mood, ratings of mental health and vigour and aspects of task performance by simple supplementation with B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals indicates that the cohort must have been suffering from less than optimal micronutrient status at the outset."