Multinutrients for the Treatment of Psychiatric Symptoms in Clinical Samples: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Abstract

This systematic review and meta-analysis focused on randomized controlled trials (RCT) of multinutrients consisting of at least four vitamins and/or minerals as interventions for participants with psychiatric symptoms. A systematic search identified 16 RCTs that fit the inclusion criteria (n = 1719 participants) in six psychiatric categories: depression, post-disaster stress, antisocial behavior, behavioral deficits in dementia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and autism. Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) was used to rate the evidence base. Significant clinical benefit was assessed using minimal clinically important differences (MIDs). Due to heterogeneity in participants, multinutrient formulas, outcome measures, and absence of complete data, only the Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) category was eligible for meta-analyses. In ADHD populations, statistically and clinically significant improvements were found in global functioning, Mean Difference (MD) -3.3, p = 0.001, MID -3.26; Standardized Mean Difference (SMD) -0.49 p = 0.001 MD -0.5), clinician ratings of global improvement (MD -0.58, p = 0.001, MID -0.5) and ADHD improvement (MD -0.54, p = 0.002, MID -0.5), and clinician (but not observer) measures of ADHD inattentive symptoms (MD -1.53, p = 0.05, MID -0.5). Narrative synthesis also revealed a pattern of benefit for global measures of improvement, for example: in autism, and in participants with behavioral deficits in dementia. Post-natural disaster anxiety and the number of violent incidents in prison populations also improved. Broad-spectrum formulas (vitamins + minerals) demonstrated more robust effects than formulas with fewer ingredients. This review highlights the need for robust methodology-RCTs that report full data, including means and standard deviations for all outcomes-in order to further elucidate the effects of multinutrients for psychiatric symptoms.

Multinutrients for the Treatment of Psychiatric Symptoms in Clinical Samples: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Jeanette M Johnstone, Andrew Hughes, Joshua Z Goldenberg, Amy R Romijn, Julia J Rucklidge. Nutrients. 2020 Nov 4;12(11):3394.

†The micronutrient formulation studied was a pre-2013 version of Truehope EMPowerplus which was co-formulated by David Hardy and Anthony Stephan. Truehope EMPowerplus is a registered trademark of The Synergy Group of Canada Inc., which was co-founded by David Hardy and Anthony Stephan in 1999. David Hardy officially resigned as a shareholder of The Synergy Group of Canada Inc. and director of Truehope Nutritional Support Ltd. in 2013 to focus his efforts exclusively on Hardy Nutritionals®.