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One of the great medical discoveries of the last century involved the identification of the nutritional substances necessary for life. Along with the “macronutrients” (fat, carbohydrate, and protein), these “micronutrients” make up the essential ingredients of a healthful diet.
Vitamins and minerals have been available as supplements since at least the 1930s. There are two main ways to use vitamins and mineral supplements: "megadose" and nutritional therapy.
To read more about these two types and which is recommended, read the main Nutritional Support page.
Effect of Nutritional Support (General) on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Sometimes disorders or health challenges can be the result of a nutritional deficiency. Oftentimes, taking a multivitamin or multimineral can help supplement the diet and restore levels of assorted vitamins and minerals in the body.
Read more details about Nutritional Support (General).
Research Evidence on Nutritional Support (General)
A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 80 healthy male volunteers found that 28 days of treatment with a multivitamin and mineral supplement (containing calcium, magnesium, and zinc) significantly reduced anxiety and the sensation of stress.30
Standard multivitamin/multimineral tablets contain nutrients at levels believed to be safe for the majority of healthy people, as indicated by amounts at or below the recommended daily allowance. However, even these supplements could be harmful for people with certain diseases, such as kidney or liver disease, or for people taking certain medications, such as warfarin .
There are other multivitamin/multimineral tablets that contain high levels of certain nutrients far above nutritional needs. These could conceivably present risks for healthy people, particularly if they are taken in combination with additional specific supplements. Almost any mineral can be toxic if taken to excess, and there are also risks with excessive intake of vitamins A, B 6 , and D.
One study found that use of multivitamin/mineral supplements may actually increasethe infectivity of women with HIV. 1 The reasons for this are unclear.
- McClelland RS, Baeten JM, Overbaugh J, Richardson BA, Mandaliya K, Emery S, Lavreys L, Ndinya-Achola JO, Bankson DD, Bwayo JJ, Kreiss JK. Micronutrient supplementation increases genital tract shedding of HIV-1 in women: results of a randomized trial. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 37(5):1657-63.
- Carroll D, Ring C, Suter M, et al. The effects of an oral multivitamin combination with calcium, magnesium, and zinc on psychological well-being in healthy young male volunteers: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2000;150:220-225.
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