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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3092828, 11 pages
Research Article

The Effects of Four-Week Multivitamin Supplementation on Mood in Healthy Older Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
2Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
3Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Received 15 May 2016; Revised 29 August 2016; Accepted 17 October 2016

Academic Editor: Crystal Haskell-Ramsay

Copyright © 2016 Helen Macpherson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Nutritional deficiencies have been associated with cognitive decline and mood disturbances. Vitamin intake can influence mood and randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that multivitamin supplements are capable of reducing mild symptoms of mood dysfunction. However, few studies have focussed on healthy older women. Methods. This study investigated the effects of four weeks’ multivitamin supplementation on mood in 76 healthy women aged 50–75 years. Mood was assessed before and after intervention in the laboratory using measures of current mood and retrospective experiences of mood over the past week or longer. Mobile phones were used to assess changes in real-time mood ratings, twice weekly in the home. Results. There were no multivitamin-related benefits identified for measures of current mood or reflections of recent mood when measured in the laboratory. In-home assessments, where mood was rated several hours after dose, revealed multivitamin supplementation improved ratings of stress, with a trend to reduce mental fatigue. Conclusions. Over four weeks, subtle changes to stress produced by multivitamin supplementation in healthy older women may not be detected when only pre- and posttreatment mood is captured. In-home mobile phone-based assessments may be more sensitive to the effects of nutritional interventions compared to traditional in-laboratory assessments.