New Study Finds Multi-vitamins/Mineral Supplements Increase Fat Oxidation


Multivitamins Increase Fat Oxidation

Most bodybuilders and athletes will not think twice about buying a whey protein powder or a pre-workout, but a good multivitamin and mineral supplement should be at the top of the list. A substantial proportion of the general population of developed countries are deficient in one or more vitamins and minerals. Exercise stresses many of the metabolic pathways where micronutrients are required, and exercise training may result in muscle biochemical adaptations that increase micronutrient needs. The most common vitamins and minerals found to be of concern in athletes’ diets are calcium and vitamin D, the B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, as well as some antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, β-carotene, and selenium.

Vitamins and minerals play both direct roles in brain function as well as indirect roles, for instance via their involvement in energy metabolism and the modulation of brain blood supply. With regards cellular energy production, most of the 13 vitamins and some minerals play direct or indirect roles in mitochondrial function. This means that vitamin and minerals are essential for general health.  A high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement can also enhance metabolic rate. For example, one researcher who examined the effect of 26 weeks’ supplementation with multivitamin/minerals found that micronutrient supplementation was associated with a significant increase in resting energy expenditure and fat oxidation. If you are not taking a multi-vitamin than the newest research should persuade you too.  The study published in Nutrition and Metabolism titled, “Multivitamins and minerals modulate whole-body energy metabolism and cerebral blood-flow during cognitive task performance: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial.”


Researchers investigated whether supplementation with ascending doses of multi-vitamin/minerals could modulate the metabolic and brain blood-flow consequences of performing cognitive tasks that varied in difficulty. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 97 healthy females (25–49 y), received either placebo or one of two doses of multivitamins/minerals. Brain blood flow and total energy expenditure, carbohydrate, and fat oxidation.  Assessments took place 60 min after the first dose and following eight weeks supplementation. During task performance supplementation with the first dose of micronutrients led to a dose-dependent increase in total energy expenditure and fat oxidation throughout the post-dose assessment period following the higher dose. Chronic supplementation for eight weeks resulted in a dose-dependent increase in total energy expenditure during the task period. There were no interpretable effects on mood or cognitive performance.
These results show that acute supplementation with micronutrients in healthy adults can modulate metabolic parameters (i.e. increased metabolic rate) and brain blood flow during cognitive task performance and that the metabolic consequences are sustained during chronic supplementation. This treatment of multivitamin supplement resulted in both increased fat oxidation and increased total energy expenditure. The increase in total energy expenditure was also sustained, and consolidated, at the end of the eight-week treatment period. These findings suggest that both brain function and metabolism are increased by micronutrient supplementation, even in adults who are assumed to have nutritional status typical of the population. The researchers reported significant increases in total energy expenditure, carbohydrate, and fat oxidation which could be related to the higher doses of calcium and vitamins C and D in the multivitamin group.  In summary, the researchers found that simple supplementation with micronutrients can increase energy expenditure following 8 weeks supplementation.


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