White DJ, Camfield DA, Maggini S, Pipingas A, Silberstein R, Stough C, Scholey A.
Objectives Relatively few studies have explored the possibility of acute cognitive effects of multivitamin ingestion. This report explores the acute brain electrophysiological changes associated with multivitamin and mineral supplementation, with and without guaraná, using the steady-state visually evoked potential (SSVEP).
Methods Based on the known SSVEP correlates of A-X continuous performance task (CPT) performance, and sensitivity to acute psychopharmacological manipulations, the A-X CPT was adopted as a task paradigm to explore treatment-related neurophysiological changes in attentional processing. Twenty healthy non-smoking adults aged 21-39 years (mean age = 28.35 years, SD = 5.52) took part in this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, balanced crossover design study.
Results The study demonstrated both transient and tonic changes in the SSVEP response during completion of the A-X CPT following multivitamin and mineral treatment both with and without guaraná. Transient changes in SSVEP response in prefrontal regions were observed after a single dose of a multivitamin and mineral preparation indicative of enhanced activity within brain regions engaged by the attentional demands of the task. This pattern of change in frontal regions was correlated with improved behavioural performance after treatment with the multivitamin and mineral combination. Where tonic shifts in SSVEP response were investigated, multivitamin and mineral treatment was associated with a pattern of increased inhibition across posterior regions, with enhanced excitatory processing in prefrontal regions. In contrast, multivitamin and mineral treatment with additional guaraná showed a tonic shift towards greater excitatory processes after a single treatment, consistent with the caffeine content of this treatment.
Discussion While preliminary in nature, these findings suggest a single multivitamin/mineral dose is sufficient to impact on functional brain activity in task-related brain regions.