Brain, performance and nutrition research centre

Navigation

Media

Multivitamins & multi-tasking

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of vitamin/mineral supplementation on cognitive function and levels of fatigue (a recognised symptom of nutritional deficiencies). The sample consisted of 216 females aged 25 to 50 years, who were engaged in full time employment or childcare and who self-reported subjective fatigue.  Participants were given a supply of multi-vitamin (Supradyn®) or placebo tablets and were instructed to take one daily for 62 days.  The results showed that those in the vitamin/mineral group displayed fewer of the negative effects on mood/fatigue of extended task completion. Muti-tasking performance for this group was also improved overall in terms of accuracy, and specifically for two of the four individual tasks faster and more accurate responses. Lower blood levels of homocysteine (a potentially damaging amino acid) were identified within the sub-group following the vitamins/mineral supplement. These findings suggest that healthy members of the general population that report fatigue may benefit from augmented levels of vitamins/minerals via direct dietary supplementation.

The published article can be found here:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hup.1144/abstract;jsessionid=203BD84714E1D768890A1E1BA1552F2E.d03t02

Multivitamins in males

The aim of this study was to investigate effect of vitamin/mineral supplementation on psychological functioning in healthy males who are in full time employment. The sample consisted of 215 males aged 30 to 55 years and were given a supply of a multi vitamin (Berocca® effervescent tablets) or placebo and were instructed to take one daily with water for a period of 33 days. The results identified that vitamin/mineral supplementation led to significant improvements in self ratings of stress, mental health and vigour. The vitamin/mineral group also performed better on one area of the Cognitive Demand Battery. They also rated themselves as less ‘mentally tired’ following completion of these tasks. This suggests that healthy members of the general population may benefit from augmented levels of vitamins/minerals via direct dietary supplementation.

The published article can be found here:  http://www.springerlink.com/content/qg8108212723n744/

Resveratrol and cerebral blood flow

We investigated the effects of a compound found in red wine and peanuts- resveratrol- on the flow of blood to the brain and performance on a range of cognitive tasks in 22 healthy young adults. Participants were given one of 2 doses of resveratrol (250 mg or 500 mg) or placebo, and completed the tasks after a 45 minute rest period while their blood flow was being monitored using Near Infrared Spectroscopy. The results showed that whilst resveratrol did not affect cognitive performance, the 500 mg dose was associated with increased blood flow to activated areas during the tasks. There was also evidence to suggest that resveratrol was associated with increased extraction of oxygen from blood during the tasks, as levels of deoxygenated haemoglobin were higher following both doses, supporting previous research in this area.

The published article can be found here:  http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/91/6/1590?maxtoshow=&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=1&author1=kennedy&andorexacttitle=and&andorexacttitleabs=and&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT

DHA and cognitive performance in children

This study examined the popularly held but previously unexamined claim that increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids can improve healthy children's performance. Ninety girls and boys aged 8-10 years were given either a low (400 mg) or high (1000 mg) dose of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or placebo to take every day for 8 weeks, and completed cognitive tasks before and after taking the treatment. The results revealed that the there was no difference in performance between the groups, suggesting that DHA supplements have no effect in children who consume a healthy diet, even if they do not eat the recommended amount of oily fish.

The published article can be found here:  http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/nns/2009/00000012/00000002/art00001?token=004d12495f7e2a46762c6b675d587046702c2e442f7a673f7b2f27375f2a72752d7085db8dc88

Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
4th Floor, Northumberland Building
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 8ST

t: 44 (0) 191 243 7252
e: bpnrc@northumbria.ac.uk

Find us