Multivitamins, Protein Supplements Associated With Improved Mood

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Taking a multivitamin or protein supplement daily is associated with having a better mood, according to researchers.

Krista G. Austin, PhD, a research fellow at the United States Army Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, Natick, Massachusetts, and colleagues, examined the dietary supplement habits of more than 5,500 Armed Forces personnel to determine the association between different classes of supplements and mood behaviors. About 60% of military personnel regularly consume the supplements.

Supplement categories included multivitamin/minerals, protein/amino acid supplements, herbals and steroid analogs.

Users of multivitamin minerals and protein/amino acid supplements were more likely to report their general health, eating habits, and fitness level as excellent/good (P<0.05), the researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology

And those reporting health behaviors as excellent/good were more awake, relaxed, cheerful, friendly, clearheaded, and coordinated (P<0.01). However, participants using herbals and steroid analogs reported feeling less friendly (more aggressive, P<0.02).

Although there was evidence of a relationship between mood and supplement use, the researchers cautioned that the link would be stronger if mood and health behaviors were assessed for a longer period. They added the relationship is not causal, based on their study.

“Studies of [supplements] should consider whether mood differences in users versus nonusers could be a confounding factor,” the researchers concluded. “Based on the present study and recent evidence from others, our findings suggest the use of certain [supplement] classes may result in a perceived invulnerability to poor mental and physical health and therefore adversely affect health.”

Multivitamins, Protein Supplements Associated With Improved Mood
Multivitamins, Protein Supplements Associated With Improved Mood

Dietary supplements (DSs) are considered by civilian and military personnel to be an effective method for improving mental and physical health status. The use of DSs is prevalent among U.S. civilians and Armed Forces personnel, with approximately 50% and 60%, respectively, being regular consumers of DSs. Both civilians and military personnel report a high level of confidence, 82% and 71% respectively, that DSs are safe and effective.

Military personnel use of DSs for a variety of reasons including compensation for presumed inadequacy of their diet, prevention of illness, improving mental health, increasing energy levels, and overcoming feelings of psychological stress. Similarly, civilians report the use of DSs to reduce physical and mental stress, anxiety, and fatigue, as well as to increase energy Despite these reports, little research has examined the relationship of DS use to psychological status, including mood, in healthy populations.

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