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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


Evidence that Inadequate Multivitamin-Mineral Status Affects Metabolism

By Michael McBurney

Vitamins have many functions and sources. A common function is to be part of an enzyme involved in a metabolic reaction. The brain is particularly metabolically active. In 2002, the Institute of Medicine estimated that 130 grams of carbohydrate were needed daily to provide sufficient glucose for the brain to function.  Thinking requires energy. So it is not surprising to read that increasing one’s intake of vitamins and minerals might impact metabolism and the brain.

In a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-groups study of 97 healthy females, Kennedy and colleagues studied the effect of increasing doses of multivitamins/minerals on  metabolic and cerebral blood flow and cognitive function. They compared responses after a placebo or a single  dose multivitamin/mineral supplement at 1x or 3x the RDA. Assessments were made 60 minutes after the dose and again 8 weeks later.

Single doses of multivitamin/mineral supplementation acutely increased whole-body metabolism and frontal cortex hemodynamic responses  although there was no significant effect on task performance. After 8 weeks, vitamin D3 concentrations were significantly higher and homocysteine concentrations were lower. Pretty amazing.

So is their conclusion:  “Finally, the logical conclusion that can be garnered from the results here is that, if it is possible to beneficially modulate core physiological processes such as energy metabolism and cerebral blood-flow by simply administering vitamins and other micronutrients to healthy members of the population, then it must be the case that the nutritional status of the sample, and by implication the general population, is inadequate.”

Don’t be one of those people with an inadequate nutritional status. Consume the DRI for your age and sex. If possible, have your nutritional status measured biologically.

Main Citation

Kennedy DO, Stevens EJ, Jackson PA, Dunn S, Wishart K, Bieri G, Barella L, Carne A, Dodd FL, Robertson BC, Forster J, Haskell-Ramsay CF. Multivitamins and minerals modulate whole-body energy metabolism and cerebral blood-flow during cognitive task performance: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. 2016 Nutr Metab doi: 10.1186/s12986-016-0071-4