Using a comprehensive multivitamin
The study, published in Human Psychopharmacology, included 50 healthy men between 50 and 69 years old. The men were assigned to receive either a single multivitamin tablet per day or placebo for eight weeks. The supplement contained a broad range of nutrients, including B vitamins, minerals, a bioflavonoid mix, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, choline, inositol, the amino acids lysine and tyrosine, and small amounts of 21 fruit, vegetable, and herbal extracts.
Vitamin users feel better
The men answered a variety of questionnaires to test for symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress at the beginning and end of the study. This led to the following findings:
Overall scores reflecting depression, anxiety, and stress improved in men taking the multivitamin.
Men in the multivitamin group also reported increased alertness at the end of the study while men in the placebo group did not.
The ability to carry out normal daily activities only improved in the men taking the multivitamin.
“The men who supplemented with the multivitamin reported fewer negative mood symptoms and fewer problems with day-to-day functioning,” said study co-author Dr. Andrew Pipingas at the Swinburn University in Melbourne, Australia.
A well-rounded approach to healthy moods
In addition to taking a daily multivitamin, here are some habits worth developing if you want to lay the foundation for healthy moods, alertness, and general well-being as you age:
- Exercise. The evidence is irrefutable: regular exercise keeps the mind strong and moods positive.
- Limit sugar. Blood sugar ups and downs can contribute to symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Take some cod liver oil. Eating fish a few times each week or taking a fish oil supplement will provide the omega-3 fats shown to help prevent depression. Cod liver oil also provides extra vitamin D, low levels of which have been linked to depression.
- Relax. Having a regular relaxation practice, such as meditation or mindfulness based stress reduction, can reduce negative moods and feelings of stress and improve quality of life.
(Hum Psychopharmacol 2011;26:560–7.)