Date of Graduation

8-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

General Human Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Sabrina Trudo

Committee Member

Jennifer Becnel

Second Committee Member

Betsy Garrison

Keywords

anxiety, depression, mental health, multivitamin-mineral supplementation, young adults

Abstract

The percentage of young adults who had mental illnesses has increased from 2008 to 2015. However, few existing studies investigating the potential benefits of multivitamin-mineral (MVM) supplementation on mental health focused on young adults (18-24 years of age), whose eating behaviors are often unhealthy. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a MVM supplement on mental health in young adults. One hundred and thirty-three college students (Mage=20.59, SD=1.77; 80.15% female) participated in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Participants consumed either a MVM supplement or a placebo for 30 days. The supplement contained B Vitamins, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Abbreviated Dysregulation Inventory (ADI) and a single item for self-esteem (SISE) were used to assess participants’ symptoms of anxiety, depression, impulsivity/dysregulation, and self-esteem level at baseline and on day 30. ADI explored three aspects of dysregulation (behavioral, cognitive, and affective). Participants’ height and weight were recorded using standardized protocols by trained staff. Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANCOVA. There was a difference in adjusted mean score changes in depression within MVM supplementation or within placebo-controlled group from baseline to Day 30 (p= 0.03). There was also a difference in adjusted mean score changes in depression in MVM supplementation group compared to placebo-controlled group (p= 0.02). In overweight/obese BMI group, no difference in adjusted mean scores of anxiety, depression, dysregulation, or self-esteem level was found. However, closer examination based on effect sizes revealed moderate effects of MVM supplementation within-subjects on anxiety (η2= 0.11) and behavioral dysregulation (η2= 0.03) and between-subjects on self-esteem level (η2= 0.03); within-subjects on anxiety (η2= 0.07), depression (η2= 0.07), and cognitive dysregulation (η2= 0.07) and between-subjects on depression (η2= 0.07) and self-esteem level (η2= 0.04) in overweight/obese BMI group. The 30-day MVM supplementation may have beneficial effects on young adults’ symptoms of depression. Although outcomes presented no significant difference between pre-intervention and post-intervention scores, some of them indicated relatively moderate effect sizes, and future work should replicate with larger samples.

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