Efficacy of a complex multivitamin supplement

Conrad P Earnest, K H Cooper, A Marks, T L Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (SciVal)


OBJECTIVES: Multivitamin supplements are often sold to consumers with the claim that supplements modify risk factors associated with disease. Because few products are validated scientifically, we examined the effects of a 24-ingredient multivitamin formula in an open-label pilot investigation.

METHODS: We examined 150 subjects for specific endpoints including blood concentrations of selected vitamins, homocysteine, lipids, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation indices at baseline and at 12 and 24 wk.

RESULTS: One hundred forty-one subjects were successfully assayed for and showed significant time effects for homocysteine and vitamin B6 (as pyridoxal-5'-phosphate), B12, and folic acid concentrations during treatment (P < 0.0001). Vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid concentrations were significantly elevated at weeks 12 and 24 (P < 0.05). Homocysteine concentration decreased significantly during the same periods (7.9 +/- 2.4 versus 6.7 +/- 1.7 versus 6.7 +/- 1.9 mM/mL; P < 0.05). There were correlations relating homocysteine to vitamins B6 (P = 0.001, r(2) = 0.03), B12 (P < 0.001, r(2) = 0.09), and folic acid (P = 0.001, r(2) = 0.10). Significant time effects were noted for 121 subjects successfully assayed for vitamin C, E, beta- carotene, LDL oxidation rate, and LDL lag time (P < 0.0001). Post hoc assessment showed elevations in vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene concentrations at 12 and 24 wk (P < 0.05). LDL oxidation lag time at baseline (57.5 +/- 13.9 min) increased by 12 wk (63.5 +/- 19.0 min; P < 0.05) and 24 wk (63.8 +/- 16.3 min; P < 0.05). LDL oxidation rate at baseline (9.7 +/- 3.0 microM x min(-1). g(-1)) was reduced at 12 wk (7.1 +/- 2.5 microM x min(-1) x g(-1); P < 0.05) and 24 wk (6.0 +/- 2.0 microM x min(-1) x g(-1); P < 0.05). Only vitamin C was significantly correlated with LDL oxidation rate (P = 0.05, r(2) = 0.003).

CONCLUSIONS: A multi-ingredient vitamin formula with antioxidant properties has measurable effects on homocysteine and LDL oxidation indices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-742
Number of pages5
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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