Vitamin and mineral supplements can enhance mental energy and well-being not only for healthy adults but for those prone to anxiety and depression, according to a panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo® held at McCormick Place.
Bonnie Kaplan, Ph.D., professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, said vitamins and mineral supplements can be the alternative to increasing psychiatric medicines for symptom relief of anxiety and depression. The supplements, she said, also can provide the mental energy necessary to manage stress, enhance mood and reduce fatigue.
In a series of studies she recently conducted in Canada, Kaplan found of the 97 adults with diagnosed mood disorders who kept a three-day food record, a higher intake of vitamins and minerals were significantly correlated with overall enhanced mental functioning.
Other vitamins that have been known to enhance mood, said C.J. Geiger, Ph.D., president of Geiger & Associates, LLC, and research associate professor in the division of nutrition at the University of Utah, include 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5 HTP), Vitamins B and D, as well as ginkgo biloba and Omega 3.
In her research, Geiger has found most adults define energy throughout the day as peaking mid-morning, falling to a valley in the afternoon after lunch and recovering with a pickup in late afternoon, settling back down before bedtime. However, these peaks and valleys did vary with gender, age and climate. She said many adults are known to use coffee, soft drinks, chocolate and candy bars as well as energy drinks, bars and chews with high sugar boosts to maintain energy throughout the day. She found other adults ate more frequent, smaller meals to sustain energy while making time for lots of rest and exercise.