Blackmores Executive B Stress Formula placebo-controlled trial

Vit B consumption: possible link between blood & brain biomarkers

A preliminary placebo-controlled trial indicates a possible link between blood and brain biomarkers following consumption of Blackmores® Executive B Stress Formula.

Blackmores® Executive B Stress Formula contains a range of B-group vitamins together with several herbs traditionally used in western herbal medicine for reducing stress, such as passionflower. It’s an extremely popular product which has broad support in the community. There are numerous anecdotal stories of people finding it helps them maintain calm and deal with stress better at work, however, this is the first randomised trial to examine whether there is a link between consumption of Blackmores® Executive B Stress Formula and blood and brain biomarkers.

To better understand how Blackmores® Executive B Stress Formula supports the body at times of stress, Blackmores Institute, the research and academic arm of Blackmores, enlisted the Swinburne Centre for Human Psychopharmacology to scientifically investigate the product. The researchers investigated whether consumption of high dose B vitamins for 6 months could improve blood levels of these vitamins, and if this altered activity in an area of the brain associated with focus and attention.

The results of the trial have created new preliminary evidence, which can be used to further examine the mechanisms behind one of Blackmore’s oldest and most popular products, Blackmores® Executive B Stress Formula.

Key points about the research study:
  • Following 6-month supplementation, expected increases in blood vitamin B6 and B12 levels was observed, as well as a reduction in blood homocysteine levels, a marker of oxidative stress.
  • Brain biomarker concentrations were not significantly® affected, although there was preliminary evidence suggestive of a link between increased blood vitamin levels and some brain biomarkers. Vitamin B6 levels were associated with increased choline and creatine, and increased blood vitamin B12 was associated with increased creatine.

Blackmores Institute Director Dr Lesley Braun explained: "Together, these findings provide preliminary evidence effects of vitamin B supplementation in modifying brain processes. This warrants further investigation to better understand the relationship between high dose B vitamins and altered brain biomarkers."

The first results from this study were published in December 2018 in Nutrients, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, with another publication to follow. This was the first study to assess the efficacy of high dose vitamin B multivitamin supplementation in regulating the relationship between blood and neural biomarkers of oxidative stress, while brain activity was monitored by the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Ref: Ford, T. C., Downey, L. A., Simpson, T., McPhee, G., Oliver, C., & Stough, C. (2018). The Effect of a High-Dose Vitamin B Multivitamin Supplement on the Relationship between Brain Metabolism and Blood Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress: A Randomized Control Trial. Nutrients, 10(12), 1860. doi:10.3390/nu10121860

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