Advertisement

Psychopharmacology

, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp 298–305 | Cite as

The impact of long-term vitamin supplementation on cognitive functioning

  • D. Benton
  • J. Fordy
  • J. Haller
Original Investigation

Abstract

The possibility that the taking of vitamin supplements may influence cognitive functioning was explored. One hundred and twenty-seven young healthy adults took either ten times the recommended daily dose of nine vitamins, or a placebo, under a double-blind procedure, for a year. After 12 months better performance on two measures of attention was found in females who had taken the vitamin supplement, even though the blood status of nine vitamins reached a plateau after 3 months. The use of regression equations demonstrated the association between improved thiamin status and improved performance on a range of measures of cognitive functioning in females rather than males. Although it was not possible to establish the reason for a beneficial response in females rather than males, the evidence that females respond differently to dietary factors was discussed.

Key words

Attention Cognition Reaction times Thiamin Vitamin status Vitamin supplementation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abraham GE, Hargrove JT (1980) Effects of vitamin B6 on premenstrual symptomatology in women with premenstrual syndrome: a double blind crossover trial. Infertility 3:155–165Google Scholar
  2. Adams PW, Rose DP, Folkard J, Wynn V, Seed M, Strong R (1973) Effect of pyridoxine hydrochloride upon depression associated with oral contraceptives. Lancet i:897–904CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson KE, Bodansky O, Kappas A (1976) Effects of oral contraceptives on vitamin metabolism. Adv Clin Chem 18:247–287PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson IM, Parry-Billings M, Newsholme EA, Fairburn CG, Cowen PJ (1990) Dieting reduces plasma trypophan and alters brain 5-HT function in women. Psychol Med 20:785–791PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Barr W (1984) Pyridoxine supplements in the premenstrual syndrome. Practitioner 228:425–427PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bender DA (1984) B vitamins in the nervous system. Neurochem Int 6:297–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bender DA (1992) Nutritional biochemistry of the vitamins. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  8. Benton D (1992) Vitamin-mineral supplements and intelligence. Proc Nutr Soc 51:295–302CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Benton D, Buts J-P (1990) Vitamin/mineral supplementation and intelligence. Lancet 335:1158–1160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Benton D, Cook R (1991a) Vitamin and mineral suplements improve the intelligence scores and concentration of six year old children. Person Indiv Diff 12:1151–1158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Benton D, Cook RM (1991b) The impact of selenium supplementation on mood. Biol Psychiatry 29:1092–1098CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Benton D, Roberts G (1988) Effect of vitamin and mineral supplementation on intelligence of a sample of schoolchildren. Lancet i:140–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bonke D, Nickel B (1989) Improvement of fine motoric movement control by elevated dosages of vitamin B1, B6, and B12 in target shooting. In: Walter P, Stahelin H, Brubacher G (eds) Elevated dosages of vitamins. Hans Huber, Toronto, pp 198–204Google Scholar
  14. Botez MI, Botez T, Maag U (1984) The Wechsler subtests in mild organic brain damage associated with folate deficiency. Psychol Med 14:431–437PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Botez MI, Fontaine F, Botez T, Bachevalier J (1977) Folate-responsive neurological and mental disorders: report of 16 cases. Eur Neurol 16:230–246PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Brubacher G, Vuilleumier JP (1974) Vitamin C. In: Curtis HCh, Roth M (eds) Clinical biochemistry — principles and methods. Walter de Gruyter, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  17. Buzina R, Bates CJ, van der Beek J, Brubacher G, Chandra RK, Hallberg L, Heseker J, Mertz W, Pietrzik K, Pollitt E, Pradilla A, Suboticanec K, Sandstead HH, Schalch W, Spurr GB, Westenhofer J (1989) Workshop on functional significance of mild to moderate malnutrition. Am J Clin Nutr 50:172–176Google Scholar
  18. Carney MWP, Sheffield MT (1978) Serum folic acid and B12 in 272 psychiatric inpatients. Psychol Med 8:139–144PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Cidlowski JA, Thanassi JW (1981) Pyridoxal phosphate a possible cofactor in steroid hormone action. J Steroid Biochem 15:11–16CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Crombie IK, Todman J, McNeill G, Florey C du V, Menzies IT, Kennedy RA (1990) Effect of vitamin and mineral supplementation on verbal and non-verbal reasoning of schoolchildren. Lancet 335:744–747CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Deijen JB, Van der Beek EJ, Orlebeke JF, Van den Berg H (1992) Vitamin B6 supplementation in elderly men: effects on mood memory performance and mental effort. Psychopharmacology 109:489–496PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Escobar A, Aruffo C, Rodriguez-Carbajal J (1983) Wernicke's Encephalopathy. A case report with neurophysiologic and CT-scan studies. Acta Vitaminol Enzymol 5:125–131PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Frigg M, Brubacher G (1976) Biotin deficiency in chicks fed a wheat-based diet. Int J Vit Nutr Res 46:314–321Google Scholar
  24. Goodwin GM, Fairburn CG, Cowen PJ (1987) Dieting changes serotonergic function in women not men: implication for the aetiology of anorexia nervosa? Psychol Med 17:839–842PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Harrell RF (1946) Mental response to added thiamine. J Nutr 31:283–298Google Scholar
  26. Hector M, Burton JR (1988) What are the psychiatric manifestations of vitamin B12 deficiency? J Am Geriat Soc 36:1105–1112PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Heseker H, Kuebler W, Westenhoefer J, Pudel V (1990) Psychische Veranderungen als Fruhzeichen einer suboptilalen Vitaminversogung. Ernshrungs-Umschau 37:87–94Google Scholar
  28. Jensen AR (1987) Individual differences in the Hick paradigm. In: (Vernon PA (ed.) Speed of information-processing and intelligence. Ablex, Norwood, N.J., pp 101–175Google Scholar
  29. Kubula AL, Katz MM (1960) Nutritional factors in psychological test behavior. J Gen Psychol 96:343–352Google Scholar
  30. Loriaux SM, Deijen JB, Orlebeke JF, De Swart JH (1985) The effects of nicotinic acid and xanthinol nicotinate on human memory in different categories of age. Psychopharmacology 87:390–395CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Luhby AL, Brin M, Gordon M (1971) Vitamin B6 metabolism in users of oral contraceptive agents: (i) abnormal urinary excretion of xanthurenic acid and its correction by pyridoxine. Am J Clin Nutr 24:684–693PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. McMurray DN (1984) Cell-mediated immunity in nutritional deficiency. Prog Food Nutr Sci 8:193–228PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Mollin DL, Anderson BB, Burman JF (1976) The serum B12 level: its assay and significance. Clin Haematol 5:521–546PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Moon TE, Micozzi MS (1989) Nutrition and cancer prevention: investigating the role of micronutrients. Marcel Dekker, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  35. Nelson M, Naismith DJ, Burley V, Gatenby S, Geddes N (1990) Nutrient intakes vitamin-mineral supplementation in British schoolchildren. Br J Nutr 64:13–22CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Schoenthaler SJ, Amos SP, Doraz WE, Kelly MA, Wakefield J (1991a) Controlled trial of vitamin-mineral supplementation on intelligence and brain function. Person Indiv Diff 12:343–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schoenthaler SJ, Amos SP, Eysenck HJ, Peritz E, Yudkin J. (1991b) Controlled trial of vitamin-mineral supplementation effects on intelligence and performance. Person Indiv Diff 12:351–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Smidt LJ, Cremin FM, Grivetti LE, Clifford AJ (1991) Influence of thiamin supplementation on the health and general well-being of an elderly Irish population with marginal thiamin deficiency. J Gerontol 46:M16-M22PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Suboticanes-Buzina K, Buzina R, Brubacher G, Sapunar J, Christeller S (1983) Vitamin C status and physical working capacity in adolescents. In J Vit Nutr Res 54:55–60Google Scholar
  40. Taylor GF (1968) A clinical survey of elderly people from a nutritional standpoint. In: Exton-Smith AN, Scott DL (eds) Vitamins in the elderly. John Wright, Bristol, pp 51–56Google Scholar
  41. Tiplady B (1992) Continuous attention — rationale and discriminant validation of a test designed for use in psychopharmacology. Psychopharmacol Bull 28:207–211PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Vuilleumier JP, Keller HE, Gysel D, Hunziker F (1983a) Clinical chemical methods for the routine assessment of the vitamin status in human populations. Part 1: the fat-soluble vitamins A and E and B-carotene. Int J Vit Nutr Res 53:265–272Google Scholar
  43. Vuilleumier JP, Keller HE, Rettenmaier R, Hunziker F (1983b) Clinical chemical methods for the routine assessment of the vitamin status in human populations. Part II: the water soluble vitamins B1, B2 and B6. Int J Vit Nutr Res 53:359–370Google Scholar
  44. Vuilleumier JP, Keller HE, Keck E (1990) Clinical chemical methods for the routine assessment of the vitamin status in human populations. Part III: the apoenzyme stimulation tests for vitamin B1, B2, B6 adapted to the Cobas-Bio Analyzer. Int J Vit Nutr Res 60:126–135Google Scholar
  45. Williams MJ, Harris RI, Dean BC (1985) Controlled trial of pyridoxine in the premenstrual syndrome. J Int Med Res 13:174–179PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Benton
    • 1
  • J. Fordy
    • 1
  • J. Haller
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity College SwanseaSwanseaWales, UK
  2. 2.Department of Human Nutrition ResearchF. Hoffmamm-La RocheBaselSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations