(Adult): Take up to 3 capsules daily with a meal containing fat, or as directed by a qualified health care practitioner. Take a few hours before or after taking other medications.
A Complete Multivitamin
While many multivitamins deliver nutrients in low quality forms, insufficient amounts or unbalanced ratios, Multi Basics 3 aims to correct all of these factors, creating a solid foundation for good health. Multi Basics 3 provides optimal doses and balanced ratios of all the recognized essential vitamins and minerals in high quality forms supported by research, all in just 3 capsules a day.
A balanced and well-designed multivitamin is fundamental to any supplement regimen. Multivitamin and mineral formulations are an excellent way to meet your daily nutrition requirements of all essential nutrients, providing a foundation on which to build your path to good health. While some nutrients like vitamins A and E are better absorbed and more effective in their natural forms, others are better absorbed in synthetic supplement form, such as folate and other B-vitamins. Some nutrients like zinc and copper must be delivered in balanced ratios so as not to disrupt certain bodily functions. Too much of some nutrients like vitamin B2 can actually inhibit absorption of other nutrients, while too little is just ineffective. Multi Basics 3 takes all of these factors into consideration, creating a carefully formulated, balanced and effective multivitamin that delivers many more benefits than a typical one-a-day multivitamin.
Multi Basics 3™ includes all recognized essential vitamins as part of a multivitamin/mineral complex for the maintenance of good health. Multi Basics 3™ also helps normal growth and development.
|Amount Per Serving Amount: 3 Capsules|
Vitamin A Complex
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin C Complex
|25 mcg/1000 IU Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)|
Vitamin E Complex
|700 mcg Boron (citrate)|
|65 mg Calcium (citrate malate)|
|100 mcg Chromium (picolinate)|
|1.5 mg Copper (citrate)|
|150 mcg Iodine (potassium iodide)|
|60 mg Magnesium (citrate, ascorbate)|
|2.3 mg Manganese (bisglycinate)|
|45 mcg Molybdenum (Na molybdate)|
|55 mcg Selenium (Selenomethionine)|
|5 mg Silicon (HVP chelate from soy)|
|18 mcg Vanadium (citrate)|
|11 mg Zinc (citrate)|
|†Total quantity of inositol hexanicotinate: 126 mg|
|*Tocopherols: >7.1 mg alpha, >1.3 mg beta, >64.8 mg gamma, >13.9 mg delta.|
|‡Tocotrienols: >2.8 mg alpha, >0.4 mg beta, >5.1 mg gamma, >1.4 mg delta.|
|Non-medicinal ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, dicalcium and tricalcium phosphate, silicon dioxide, dextrin, tocopherols, sodium stearyl fumarate, cellulose gum, ascorbyl palmitate, sodium alginate, sorbitan stearate, sucrose, gum Arabic, palm oil, hydroxypropyl cellulose, maltodextrin, starch (soy, corn, pea, rice), modified corn starch, zeaxanthin. Capsule: hypromellose.|
AOR™ guarantees that all ingredients have been declared on the label. Contains no wheat, gluten, peanuts, sesame seeds, sulphites, mustard, dairy or eggs.
(Adult): Take up to 3 capsules daily with a meal containing fat, or as directed by a qualified health care practitioner. Take a few hours before or after taking other medications.
Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are taking blood thinners or any prescription drugs, as phytonutrients in this supplement may affect their metabolism or bioavailability. Consult a health care practitioner for use beyond 12 weeks. Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you are allergic to plants of the Asteraceae/Compositae/Daisy family. This product contains soy. Do not use if you have a soy allergy.
The information and product descriptions appearing on this website are for information purposes only, and are not intended to provide or replace medical advice to individuals from a qualified health care professional. Consult with your physician if you have any health concerns, and before initiating any new diet, exercise, supplement, or other lifestyle changes.
Basic, Balanced Supplementing
Multi Basics 3TM is formulated to deliver the most fundamental nutrients in active forms in the fewest capsules possible. Multi Basics 3TM includes all recognized essential nutrients and delivers them in superior forms, such as the inclusion of the complete E complex and the menatetrenone form of vitamin k.
A balanced and well-designed multi-vitamin is fundamental to any supplement regime. Indeed, multi-vitamin and multi-mineral formulations are an excellent way to meet the daily requirements of all essential nutrients. Unfortunately, poorly designed multi’s plague the unaware consumer, often causing more harm than good by adding excessive amounts of certain nutrients in forms that are not absorbed, leading to nutritional imbalances.
We know that diets high in fruits and vegetables prevent disease and increase lifespan. The reason is simple. The more nutrient-dense a diet is, the more beneficial it becomes. Quite simply, a diet that provides more nutrients for the same amount of energy is associated with more health benefits and supports a longer, healthier life. A well-formulated multi-vitamin supplement should therefore be a highly condensed version of an optimal diet. Unfortunately, most products on the market fall short of this goal.
Features of Multi Basics 3
The science behind AOR’s multi-vitamin formulations insures the safety and efficacy of our products. Multi Basics 3TM is the incarnation of this objective and features:
• 500 IU of preformed Vitamin A, because more is not better” with “Less than 500 IU of preformed Vitamin A. Too much Vitamin A has a negative impact on bones. Animal studies have shown that Retinoic Acid (preformed Vitamin A) suppresses the proliferation and differentiation of preosteoblastic cells. Osteoblastic cells promote bone formation, which explains why studies have shown that intakes of 5000 IU and 6600 IU of preformed Vitamin A roughly double the risk of a fracture.
• Reasonable amounts of Beta-Carotene, because too much Beta-Carotene is not good either. Beta-Carotene is safer than preformed Vitamin A but too much is clearly harmful. Animals given superdoses of Beta-Carotene (similar to doses found in several supplements) displayed signs of disturbances in the body’s ability to detoxify carcinogens and showed activation of several pro-cancer genes resulting in an increased incidence of precancerous lung lesions. Beta-Carotene supplementation should reflect the quantities of the vitamin found in optimal diets – that is to say 6.8 to 11.4 mg of beta-carotene per day.
• Moderate amounts of Manganese. Another case of zealous supplementation causing harm occurs with Manganese. The current evidence, although irresolute, suggests that excess manganese can lead to neurological damage. Indeed, individuals with higher manganese intakes are approximately 70% more likely to end up with Parkinson’s disease.
• Balanced Zinc-to-Copper ratios. Getting too much of either of these nutrients creates a functional deficiency in the other. It is therefore essential that supplementation provide a harmonious amount of each mineral. Unfortunately, many formulas contain potentially harmful Zinc-to-Copper ratios. Animal and human evidence suggests that an adequate Zinc-to-Copper ratio should be of about ten to one. Studies using a 23.5 to 1 ratio led to reductions in levels of copper-based antioxidants, increased total and LDL cholesterol and caused abnormalities in cardiac function.
• From vitamin B1 for the metabolism of carbs to vitamin B12 for fatigue, Multi Basics 3TM contains a balanced ratio of B vitamins. The old expression that vitamins create expensive urine holds true for the all too common multivitamin formulas which contain an across-the-board 50mg of B vitamins. Multi Basics 3TM contains a ratio of B vitamins based on an extensive review of published research to provide you with a balanced approach to both the safety and efficacy of B vitamin supplementation.
• AORTM was the first in the world to provide all 8 forms of vitamin E in a multi-vitamin formula (Ortho-CoreTM), multivitamin powder (Essential MixTM), and now in Multi Basics 3TM. All other multivitamin formulas currently available contain only Alpha Tocopherol which has been shown in clinical trials to deplete the body of gamma tocopherol, the most important form of vitamin E for cardiovascular health. It can take up to two years to restore the body’s natural balance of gamma tocopherol after chronic use of alpha tocopherol supplementation has stopped. Multi Basics 3 provides all 8 forms of vitamin E to ensure you get the maximum benefits and safety from supplementing with a multivitamin.
• Menatetrenone, as Vitamin K2 is the form of vitamin K the body produces and utilizes. Menatetrenone is more effective than its plant-extracted counterpart (Vitamin K1) and supports superior skeletal, brain and cardiovascular benefits.
• Calcium citrate-malate, with a greater bioavailability than other vegetarian forms of calcium.
• Minerals such as boron, silicon and vanadium, with health benefits suggesting they may be as important as other minerals recognized as “essential”.
• Phytochemicals, because there is a lot more than vitamins and essential minerals in a healthy diet. Phytochemicals are biologically active substances found in plants. Several thousand phytochemicals have been identified so far. The advantages of phytochemicals are impressive; they reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and degenerative diseases. Multi Basics 3TM contains phytochemicals specific to food products with well-documented health benefits such as the garlic family and cruciferous vegetables. Such nutrients include alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, lutein, mixed carotenoids, quercetin and mixed citrus bioflavonoids.
• Choline and inositol – two key cellular phospholipids found in the lipid bylayer of cell membranes. Choline is an essential nutrient that is required for normal cellular structure and function. Inositol is important for cellular defenses and exhibits anti-cancer potential. Inositol hexanicotinate, also found in Multi Basics 3TM, has a cholesterol-lowering effect.
Most consumers are interested in taking multivitamin supplements to support their overall health and wellness. Unfortunately, consumers often fall prey to poor formulations that can be ineffective, or worse, even harmful. Excessive or imbalanced doses and ratios can wreak physiological havoc in the body. Too little can have little therapeutic value. Inactive or inferior forms can be a waste of money or even counterproductive.
Multi Basics 3TM avoids the pitfalls of improper formulations: excessive and harmful amounts are shunned, balanced vitamin complexes in amounts that reflect biological needs are used, and superior forms that are assimilated more efficiently are a priority. Most importantly, Multi Basic 3TM provides nutrients in amounts that reflect the quantities found in optimal diets which have been shown to positively impact health.
Vitamin A in the form of β -carotene, being one of the primary ingredients in most multi vitamin nutritional supplement formulas, has several well documented benefits. One study investigated the effects that β-carotene offers in the role of preventing cardiovascular diseases. The relations between different carotenoids, a- and g-tocopherol, and vitamin C with 15-y CVD mortality in elderly men who participated in the Zutphen Elderly Study were investigated. A total of 559 men without chronic disease were included in the study and followed for a period of fifteen years. It was concluded that dietary intakes of carotene in both alpha and beta form were inversely associated with the risk of cardiovascular related death.
In another study, it was found that higher intake levels of total carotenoids were associated with a lower incidence of metabolic syndrome, as well as reduced levels of adiposity and serum triglycerides in men of middle and elderly age. This study was conducted as a population-based, cross-sectional study in 374 men aged 40–80 y. Metabolic syndrome was present in 22 of the men taking part in the study. The presence of metabolic syndrome was determined using measures fasting serum glucose, triglyceride, and HDL-cholesterol concentrations, waist circumference, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. After confounders were adjusted for, total intakes for carotenoid and lycopene were inversely associated with metabolic syndrome [relative risk (RR) quartile 4 vs. quartile 1 (95% CI) 0.42 (0.20–0.87), P-trend 0.02; and 0.55 (0.28–1.11), P-trend 0.01, respectively]. A decreased risk was observed for each quartile of intake compared with the first in the case of beta carotene [RR quartile 4 vs. quartile 1 (95% CI) 0.58 (0.33–1.02)]. Total intakes of carotenoid, b-carotene, a-carotene, and lycopene that were higher, were associated with waist circumferences that were lower as well as lowered visceral and subcutaneous fat mass. Lower serum triglyceride concentrations were associated with higher lycopene intakes.
Another study investigated the effects of natural carotene consumption on providing skin protection against UVA and UVB induced skin erythema and found that it was able to have a modest effect on the level of skin protection that it offered. 22 subjects took carotenoid supplements for 22 weeks and with contained 30 mg of natural caotenoids. The carotenoid intake level was raised by 30 mg every eight weeks to a total of 90 mg. Skin from a small area of 1 cm2 was exposed to increased levels of UV light in order to determine the minimal dose for erythema to occur. Blood samples taken during supplementation were used to determine a- and b-carotene serum levels and for a lipid peroxidation analysis.
Although Gamma-Tocopherol is the main form of vitamin E found in the seeds of plants and most people’s diets, alpha-tocopherol is the primary form of vitamin E found in the tissues and supplements; little attention has been paid to it. However, recent studies indicate that gamma-tocopherol may be important to human health in that it possesses unique features that distinguish it from alpha-tocopherol. Gamma-Tocopherol is well absorbed and accumulates to a significant degree in some human tissues. Some human and animal studies indicate that plasma concentrations of gamma-tocopherol are inversely associated with an incidence of cardiovascular disease and abnormal cell growth in the prostate. These distinguishing features of gamma-tocopherol and its metabolite suggest that gamma-tocopherol may contribute significantly to human health in ways not recognized previously.
Zinc and copper are essential minerals critical to health. An ongoing study tracking the nutritional intake of Americans found that 75% of older American adults were found to be failing to reach the RDA for zinc, and none of them achieved even the minimum recommended intake for copper. Yet while the importance of zinc is widely recognized, copper’s crucial role in our health has often been discounted. An overemphasis on zinc has resulted in widespread, unbalanced zinc supplementation, which has serious implications for your long-term health.
Zinc and copper are so similar in their atomic structure that they can actually compete with one another, not only for absorption, but also for utilization in the body’s biochemical pathways. When your intake of zinc is too high relative to your copper intake, the excess zinc actually interferes with the activity of enzymes which depend on copper for their biological function. When copper is not properly incorporated into these enzymes, they can’t fulfill their biochemical duties.
Both animal and human evidence suggests that, for optimal utilization of both minerals, the balance between zinc and copper should be about ten-to-one. But it’s common for supplements containing these nutrients to include too much zinc, and little or no copper, with the result that many – perhaps most – zinc supplements and multivitamin and multimineral formulas contain potentially harmful zinc imbalances.
This isn’t just a theoretical concern. In a series of human studies, putting volunteers on a diet and supplement regimen in which the ratio between zinc and copper was 23.5-to-one (and sometimes lower) – common zinc-to-copper ratios, found in many multivitamins on health food store shelves – resulted in wide-ranging metabolic disturbances, including reduced levels of the copper-based antioxidants enzymes, increased total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, anemia, reductions in the body’s levels of enkephalins (natural pain-killing molecules), and cardiac dysfunction (including rhythm disturbances and even heart attacks!).
At the extreme, out-of control zinc supplementation impairs immune function, despite the fact that an adequate intake of zinc is necessary for normal immune function. One reason for this may be copper’s important role in immune function: one of the classic signs of ‘simple’ copper deficiency is depressed levels of white blood cells.
Over the long term, it seems that other problems linked to long-term, subclinical ‘simple’ copper deficiency – such as impaired bone metabolism, poor glucose metabolism, arthritis, neurological dysfunction, and increased levels of Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGE) – would also manifest from a functional copper deficiency created by excessive zinc intake. The problem, of course, is not zinc supplements – but excessive or unbalanced zinc supplementation.
Excessive Zinc and Prostate Health
Many men take zinc supplements to support the health of their prostate, because the prostate has the highest levels of this mineral of any organ of the body, and most studies have found that low levels of zinc in the prostate are associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) and more serious prostate disorders. But one large new study found that extreme zinc oversupplementation is associated with a more than doubled risk of developing prostate problems, especially if continued for more than 10 years.
This doesn’t mean that men concerned about prostate health should stop making sure that their zinc intake is adequate: there was no association of zinc supplement use and prostate problems in men with more reasonable intakes of the mineral. But it does mean that the targets that we should aim for are the kinds of intakes typical of a healthy diet.
Huang HY, Appel LJ. Supplementation of diets with alpha-tocopherol reduces serum concentrations of gamma- and delta-tocopherol in humans. J Nutr. 2003 Oct;133(10):3137-40.
Jiang Q, Christen S, Shigenaga MK, Ames BN. Gamma-tocopherol, the major form of vitamin E in the US diet, deserves more attention. Am J Clin Nutr 2001 Dec; 74(6): 714-22.
Melhus H, Michaelsson K, Kindmark A, et al. Excessive dietary intake of vitamin A is associated with reduced bone mineral density and increased risk for hip fracture. Ann Intern Med. 1998 Nov 15;129(10):770-8.
Sandstead HH. Requirements and toxicity of essential trace elements, illustrated by zinc and copper. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Mar;61(3 Suppl):621S-624S.
Slattery ML, Benson J, Curtin K, Ma KN, Schaeffer D, Potter JD. Carotenoids and colon cancer. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb;71(2):575-82.
Whanger PD. Selenocompounds in plants and animals and their biological significance. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Jun;21(3):223-32.
Dietary Carotenoid Intake Is Associated with Lower Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome in Middle-Aged and Elderly Men.
J Nutr 2009, 139:987-992.
Ivonne Sluijs, Joline WJ Beulens, Diederick E Grobbee, Yvonne T van der Schouw
Carotenoids have antioxidant properties. Little is known about the relation of dietary carotenoid intake on metabolic syndrome risk. We examined whether dietary carotenoid intake was associated with metabolic syndrome and metabolic syndrome risk factors. We conducted a population-based, cross-sectional study in 374 men aged 40–80 y. Intakes of b-carotene, a-carotene, b-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin were estimated using a validated FFQ. Presence of metabolic syndrome was determined using fasting serum glucose, triglyceride, and HDL-cholesterol concentrations, waist circumference, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Metabolic syndrome was present in 22% of the men. After adjustment for confounders, total carotenoid and lycopene intakes were inversely associated with presence of metabolic syndrome [relative risk (RR) quartile 4 vs. quartile 1 (95% CI) 0.42 (0.20–0.87), P-trend 0.02; and 0.55 (0.28–1.11), P-trend 0.01, respectively]. For b-carotene, a decreased risk was observed for each quartile of intake compared with the first [RR quartile 4 vs. quartile 1 (95% CI) 0.58 (0.33–1.02)]. Higher total carotenoid, b-carotene, a-carotene, and lycopene intakes were associated with lower waist circumferences and visceral and subcutaneous fat mass. Higher lycopene intake was related to lower serum triglyceride concentrations. In conclusion, higher total carotenoid intakes, mainly those of b-carotene and lycopene, were associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome and with lower measures of adiposity and serum triglyceride concentrations in middle-aged and elderly men.
Both α- and β-Carotene, but Not tocopherol and Vitamin C, Are Inversely Related to 15-Year Cardiovascular Mortality in Dutch Elderly Men.
J. Nutr. 2008, 138:344-350.
Brian Buijsse, Edith JM Feskens, Lemogang Kwape, Frans J Kok, Daan Kromhout
The role of b-carotene, a-tocopherol, and vitamin C in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is controversial. Prospective studies on g-tocopherol and carotenoids other than b-carotene are sparse. We assessed relations between the intake of different carotenoids, a- and g-tocopherol, and vitamin C with 15-y CVD mortality in elderly men who participated in the Zutphen Elderly Study. Information on diet and potential confounding factors was collected in 1985, 1990, and 1995. In 1985, 559 men (mean age ;72 y) free of chronic diseases were included in the current analysis. After 15 y of follow-up, comprising 5744 person-years, 197 men had died from CVD. After adjustment for age, smoking, and other potential lifestyle and dietary confounders, relative risks (RR) (95% CI) of CVD death for a 1-SD increase in intake were 0.81 (0.66–0.99) for a-carotene and 0.80 (0.66–0.97) for b-carotene. Carrots were the primary source of a- and b-carotene and their consumption was related to a lower risk of death from CVD (adjusted RR, 0.83; 95% CI ¼ 0.68–1.00). Intakes of carotenoids other than a- and b-carotene were not associated with CVD mortality, nor were vitamin C and a- and g tocopherol. In conclusion, dietary intakes of a-carotene and b-carotene are inversely associated with CVD mortality in elderly men. This study does not indicate an important role for other carotenoids, tocopherols, or vitamin C in lowering the risk of CVD death.
Health Benefits of a natural carotenoid rich oil: a proposed mechanism of protection against ischaemia / reperfusion injury.
Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008, 7(S1):316-319.
Jacques van rooyen, Adriaan J Esterhuyse, Anna-Mart Engelbrecht, Engene F du Toit
Numerous studies have reported the protective properties of carotenoid supplementation against skin and eye associated diseases. However, conflicting data concerning the efficacy of β-carotene in the pathogenesis of cancers and cardiovascular disease exist. It has been shown that β-carotene is an effective antioxidant on its own or in combination with other antioxidants. Red palm oil (RPO) is a potent anti-oxidant rich oil which consists of carotenoids, tocopherols, tocotrienols and lycopenes as well as lipid fractions such as squalene, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids (which maximize absorption of these anti-oxidants) and Co-enzyme Q10. α and β-carotene account for more than 90% of the total carotene in RPO. It is known that ischaemia/reperfusion-induced injury causes an imbalance in oxygen supply which can lead to oxidative stress in the heart. It has been shown that the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), PKB/Akt and the NO-cGMP all play vital roles in ischaemia / reperfusion injury in the heart. Therefore, our review mainly focuses on the signaling pathways involved in functional recovery induced by a natural carotenoid oil after ischaemia / reperfusion injury.
Protection from sunburn with beta-carotene – A Meta-analysis.
Photochemistry and Photobiology 2008, 84: 284-288.
Wolfgang KÓ§pcke, Jean Krutmann
Nutritional protection against skin damage from sunlight is increasingly advocated to the general public, but its effectiveness is controversial. In this meta-analysis, we have systematically reviewed the existing literature on human supplementation studies on dietary protection against sunburn by beta-carotene. A review of literature until June 2007 was performed in PubMed, ISI Web of Science and EBM Cochrane library and identified a total of seven studies which evaluated the effectiveness of b-carotene in protection against sunburn. Data were abstracted from these studies by means of a standardized data collection protocol. The subsequent meta-analysis showed that (1) b-carotene supplementation protects against sunburn and (2) the study duration had a significant influence on the effected size. Regression plot analysis revealed that protection required a minimum of 10 weeks of supplementation with a mean increase of the protective effect of 0.5 standard deviations with every additional month of supplementation. Thus, dietary supplementation of humans with b-carotene provides protection against sunburn in a time-dependent manner.
Cognitive and mood effects in healthy children during 12 weeks’ supplementation with multi-vitamin/minerals.
British Journal of Nutrition. 2008;
Haskell CF, Scholey AB, Jackson PA, Elliott JM, Defeyter MA, Greer J, Robertson BC, Buchanan T, Tiplady B and Kennedy DO.
Adequate levels of vitamins and minerals are essential for optimal neural functioning. A high proportion of individuals, including children, suffer from deficiencies in one or more vitamins or minerals. This study investigated whether daily supplementation with vitamins/minerals could modulate cognitive performance and mood in healthy children. In this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel groups investigation, eighty-one healthy children aged from 8 to 14 years underwent laboratory assessments of their cognitive performance and mood pre-dose and at 1 and 3 h post-dose on the first and last days of 12 weeks’ supplementation with a commercially available vitamins/mineral product (Pharmaton Kiddie). Interim assessments were also completed at home after 4 and 8 weeks at 3 h post-dose. Each assessment comprised completion of a cognitive battery, delivered over the Internet, which included tasks assessing mood and the speed and accuracy of attention and aspects of memory (secondary, semantic and spatial working memory). The vitamin/mineral group performed more accurately on two attention tasks: ‘Arrows’ choice reaction time task at 4 and 8 weeks; ‘Arrow Flankers’ choice reaction time task at 4, 8 and 12 weeks. A single task outcome (Picture Recognition errors) evinced significant decrements at 12 weeks. Mood was not modulated in any interpretable manner. Whilst it is possible that the significant improvements following treatment were due to non-significant numerical differences in performance at baseline, these results would seem to suggest that vitamin/mineral supplementation has the potential to improve brain function in healthy children. This proposition requires further investigation.
Bioactivity and protective effects of natural carotenoids.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2005, 1740:101-107.
Wilhelm Stahl, Helmut Sies
Carotenoids comprise a class of natural fat-soluble pigments which are found in numerous fruits and vegetables. The consumption of a diet rich in carotenoids has been epidemiologically correlated with a lower risk for several diseases. The antioxidant activity of carotenoids and biochemical properties influencing signaling pathways have been discussed as basic mechanisms of prevention. Conflicting data from intervention studies with β-carotene to prevent cancers and cardiovascular disorders have challenged the concept. However, there is convincing evidence that carotenoids are important components of the antioxidant network. Photooxidative damage is suggested to be involved in the pathobiochemistry of several diseases affecting the skin and the eye, and carotenoids may protect light-exposed tissues. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the predominant carotenoids of the retina and are considered to act as photoprotectants preventing retinal degeneration. The unique distribution, localization and high levels of both carotenoids within the macula lutea as well as their physicochemical properties make them suitable candidates for photoprotection. β-Carotene is used as an oral sun protectant for the prevention of sunburn and has been shown to be effective either alone or in combination with other carotenoids or antioxidant vitamins. Protective effects are also achieved with a diet rich in lycopene.
Carotenoids and UV Protection.
Article © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2004.
Helmut Sies and Wilhelm Stahl
Photooxidative processes play a role in the pathobiochemistry of various disorders of light-exposed tissue. After irradiation of skin with UV light, erythema (sunburn) is an initial effect suitable for monitoring the direct biological response. Carotenoids are efficient in photoprotection, scavenging singlet oxygen and peroxyl radicals. Intervention studies with supplements or a carotenoid-rich diet documented efficiency in systemic photoprotection, measuring a decreased sensitivity against UV-induced erythema. For successful intervention, treatment with carotenoids is needed for a period of at least ten weeks. An increased consumption of carotenoids may contribute to life-long protection against UV-induced damage.
Nutritional Protection Against Skin Damage from Sunlight.
Annu. Rev. Nutr. 2004, 24:173-200.
Helmut Sies and Wilhelm Stahl
The concept of systemic photoprotection by dietary means is gaining momentum. Skin is continuously exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, the major cause of skin disorders such as sunburn, photodamage, and nonmelanoma skin cancer. Most of the erythemal annual UV dose is encountered under nonvacation conditions, when no sunscreen is applied. In the absence of topically added compounds, skin protection depends solely on endogenous defense. Micronutrients can act as UV absorbers, as antioxidants, or can modulate signaling pathways elicited upon UV exposure. UV-induced erythema is a suitable parameter to assess photoprotection. Dietary protection is provided by carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbate, flavonoids, or n-3 fatty acids, contributing to maintenance resistance as part of lifelong protection.
DNA damage and susceptibility to oxidative damage in lymphocytes: effects of carotenoids in vitro and in vivo.
Br J Nutr. 2004 Jan; 91(1):53-61.
Astley SB, Hughes DA, Wright AJ, Elliott RM, Southon S.
Reports on the effects of carotenoids are conflicting. The present paper examines similarities and differences from contiguous studies in vitro and in vivo. Single-cell gel electrophoresis was used to measure the frequency of single-strand breaks (SSB) in the cell line MOLT-17 (as a model system) and human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL). MOLT-17 cells were supplemented with beta-carotene, lutein or lycopene at a range of concentrations (0.00-8.00 micromol/l) using a liposome delivery method. Uptake was dose-dependent. beta-Carotene concentration in the media had no effect on SSB in control cells, but incubation with lycopene or lutein (>2.00 micromol/l) increased the numbers of SSB in control cells. MOLT-17 DNA was less susceptible to oxidative damage (100 micromol H2O2/l, 5 min, 4 degrees C) following incubation with carotenoids between 0.50 and 1.00 micromol/l; at >1.00 micromol/l the effects were ambiguous. Apparently healthy male volunteers supplemented their habitual diets with lutein, beta-carotene or lycopene (natural isolate capsules, 15 mg/d, 4 weeks) in three independent studies, raising plasma concentrations to different extents. Lycopene and lutein had no effect on SSB in control PBL or following oxidative challenge. However, increased plasma beta-carotene was associated with more SSB in control cells whilst PBL DNA resistance to oxidative damage ex vivo was unaffected. These results suggest that the carotenoids are capable of exerting two overlapping but distinct effects: antioxidant protection by scavenging DNA-damaging free radicals and modulation of DNA repair mechanisms.
Effect of a multivitamin and mineral supplement on infection and quality of life. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Ann Intern Med. 2003 Mar 4;138(5):365-71.
Barringer TA, Kirk JK, Santaniello AC, Foley KL, Michielutte R.
BACKGROUND: Use of multivitamin and mineral supplements is common among U.S. adults, yet few well-designed trials have assessed the reputed benefits.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement on infection and well-being.
DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
SETTING: Primary care clinics at two medical centers in North Carolina.
PARTICIPANTS: 130 community-dwelling adults stratified by age (45 to 64 years or >or=65 years) and presence of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
INTERVENTION: Multivitamin and mineral supplement or placebo taken daily for 1 year.
MEASUREMENTS: Incidence of participant-reported symptoms of infection, incidence of infection-associated absenteeism, and scores on the physical and mental health subscales of the Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short Form.
RESULTS: More participants receiving placebo reported an infectious illness over the study year than did participants receiving multivitamin and mineral supplements (73% vs. 43%; P < 0.001). Infection-related absenteeism was also higher in the placebo group than in the treatment group (57% vs. 21%; P < 0.001). Participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus (n = 51) accounted for this finding. Among diabetic participants receiving placebo, 93% reported an infection compared with 17% of those receiving supplements (P < 0.001). Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short Form scores did not differ between the treatment and placebo groups.
CONCLUSIONS: A multivitamin and mineral supplement reduced the incidence of participant-reported infection and related absenteeism in a sample of participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus and a high prevalence of subclinical micronutrient deficiency. A larger clinical trial is needed to determine whether these findings can be replicated not only in diabetic persons but also in any population with a high rate of suboptimal nutrition or potential underlying disease impairment.
Multivitamin/mineral supplementation improves plasma B-vitamin status and homocysteine concentration in healthy older adults consuming a folate-fortified diet.
J Nutr. 2000 Dec;130(12):3090-6.
McKay DL, Perrone G, Rasmussen H, Dallal G, Blumberg JB.
Elevated homocysteine has been identified as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. Although multivitamin use has been associated with low plasma homocysteine concentrations in several observational studies, no clinical trials have been conducted using multivitamin/mineral supplements to lower homocysteine. We determined whether a multivitamin/mineral supplement formulated at about 100% Daily Value will further lower homocysteine concentration and improve B-vitamin status in healthy older adults already consuming a diet fortified with folic acid. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 80 free-living men and women aged 50-87 y with total plasma homocysteine concentrations of > or =8 micromol/L received either a multivitamin/mineral supplement or placebo for 56 d while consuming their usual diet. After the 8-wk treatment, subjects taking the supplement had significantly higher B-vitamin status and lower homocysteine concentration than controls (P: < 0.01). Plasma folate, pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) and vitamin B-12 concentrations were increased 41.6, 36.5 and 13.8%, respectively, in the supplemented group, whereas no changes were observed in the placebo group. The mean homocysteine concentration decreased 9.6% in the supplemented group (P: < 0.001) and was unaffected in the placebo group. There were no significant changes in dietary intake during the intervention. Multivitamin/mineral supplementation can improve B-vitamin status and reduce plasma homocysteine concentration in older adults already consuming a folate-fortified diet.
The effect of vitamin-mineral supplementation on the intelligence of American schoolchildren: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial.
J Altern Complement Med. 2000 Feb;6(1):19-29.
Schoenthaler SJ, Bier ID, Young K, Nichols D, Jansenns S.
CONTEXT: Many medical, nutrition, and education professionals have long suspected that poor diet impairs the academic performance of Western schoolchildren; academic performance often improves after improved diet. However, others have suggested that such academic gains may be due to psychologic effects rather than nutrition. To resolve this issue, two independent research teams conducted randomized trials in which children were given placebos or low-dose vitamin-mineral tablets designed to raise nutrient intake to the equivalent of a well-balanced diet. Both teams reported significantly greater gains in nonverbal intelligence among the supplemented groups. The findings were important because of the apparent inadequacy of diet they revealed and the magnitude of the potential for increased intelligence. However, none of the ten subsequent replications, or the two original trials, were without limitations leaving this issue in controversy.
OBJECTIVES: To determine if schoolchildren who consume low-dose vitamin-mineral tablets will have a significantly larger increase in nonverbal intelligence than children who consume placebos in a study that overcomes the primary criticisms directed at the previous 12 controlled trials.
DESIGN: A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial using stratified randomization within each teacher’s class based on preintervention nonverbal intelligence.
SETTINGS AND SUBJECTS: Two “working class,” primarily Hispanic, elementary schools in Phoenix, Arizona, participated in the study. Slightly more than half the teachers in each school distributed the tablets daily to 245 schoolchildren aged 6 to 12 years.
INTERVENTION: Daily vitamin-mineral supplementation at 50% of the U.S. daily recommended allowance (RDA) for 3 months versus placebo.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Post-test nonverbal IQ, as measured by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R), while controlling for pretest nonverbal IQ as a covariate.
FOUR MAIN RESULTS: First, a significant difference of 2.5 IQ points (95% CI: 1.85-3.15) was found between 125 children given active tablets and 120 children given placebo tablets (p = 0.038). Second, this finding is consistent with the mean 3.2 IQ point net gain found in the 12 similar but less rigorous studies. Third, a significantly higher proportion of children in the active group gained 15 or more IQ points when compared to the placebo group (p < 0.01). Fourth, although 81 matched pairs produced no difference at all in nonverbal IQ gain, the modest 2.5 IQ point net gain for the entire sample can be explained by the remaining 24 children who took active tablets, and had a 16 point higher net gain in IQ than the remaining 19 placebo controls.
CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms that vitamin-mineral supplementation modestly raised the nonverbal intelligence of some groups of Western schoolchildren by 2 to 3 points but not that of most Western schoolchildren, presumably because the majority were already adequately nourished. This study also confirms that vitamin-mineral supplementation markedly raises the non-verbal intelligence of a minority of Western schoolchildren, presumably because they were too poorly nourished before supplementation for optimal brain function. Because nonverbal intelligence is closely associated with academic performance, it follows that schools with children who consume substandard diets should find it difficult to produce academic performance equal to those schools with children who consume diets that come closer to providing the nutrients suggested in the U.S. RDA. The parents of schoolchildren whose academic performance is substandard would be well advised to seek a nutritionally oriented physician for assessment of their children’s nutritional status as a possible etiology.
Carotenoid Supplementation Reduces Erythema in Human Skin After Simulated Solar Radiation Exposure.
P.S.E.B.M. 2000, Vol 223:170-174.
Jeongmin Lee, Shuguang Jiang, Norman Levine, Ronald R Watson
Excessive exposure to solar radiation, especially ultraviolet A (UVA:320-40nm) and ultraviolet B (UVB: 290-320 nm) radiation, may induce UV-carcinogenesis and erythema in the skin. Although the protective effects of carotenoids against skin lesions are still unclear, b-carotene has been proposed as an oral sun protectant. The purpose of this study was to determine the magnitude of the protective effects of oral a- and b-carotene supplementation for 24 weeks on UVA- and UVB-induced erythema in humans. While being exposed to UVA and UVB radiation, 22 subjects (11 men and 11 women) were supplemented with natural carotenoids for 24 weeks. Each day for the first 8 weeks, subjects were given 30mg of natural carotenoids containing 29.4mg of b-carotene, 0.36mg of a-carotene, and traces of other carotenoids in vegetable oil. The natural carotenoid dose was progressively raised by 30-mg increments, at every 8 weeks, from 30 mg to 90 mg. Small areas (1 cm2) of the skin were exposed to increasing doses of UV light (16-42 mJ/cm2) to determine the minimal erythema dose (MED). MED was defined as a uniform pink color with well-defined borders. MED readings were obtained by visual inspection 24 hr postirradiation. Blood samples taken during supplementation were used to determine a- and b-carotene serum levels and for a lipid peroxidation analysis. During natural carotenoid supplementation, the MED of solar simulator radiation increased significantly (P < 0.05). After 24 weeks of supplementation, serum b-carotene levels were increased from 0.22 ug/ml (95% CI: 0.16-0.27) to 1.72 ug/ml (95% CI:1.61-1.83). Similarly, a-carotene serum levels increased from 0.07 ug/ml (95% CI:0.048-0.092) to 0.36 ug/ml (95% CI:0.32-0.40). Serum lipid peroxidation was significantly (P
Carotenoids and carotenoids plus vitamin E protect against ultraviolet light-induced erythema in humans.
Am J Clin Nutr 2000, 71:795-798.
Wilhelm Stahl, Ulrike Heinrich, Holger Jungmann, Helmut Sies, Hagen Tronnier
Background: Carotenoids and tocopherols, known to be efficient antioxidants and capable of scavenging reactive oxygen species generated during photooxidative stress, may protect the skin from ultraviolet light–induced erythema. b-Carotene is widely used as an oral sun protectant but studies on its protective effects are scarce. Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the protective effects of oral supplementation with carotenoids and a combination of carotenoids and vitamin E against the development of erythema in humans.
Design: A carotenoid supplement (25 mg total carotenoids/d) and a combination of the carotenoid supplement and vitamin E [335 mg (500 IU) RRR-a-tocopherol/d] were given for 12 wk to healthy volunteers. Erythema was induced by illumination with a blue-light solar simulator. Serum b-carotene and a-tocopherol concentrations and skin carotenoid levels were assessed by HPLC and reflection photometry.
Results: Serum b-carotene and a-tocopherol concentrations increased with supplementation. Erythema on dorsal skin (back) was significantly diminished (P < 0.01) after week 8, and erythema suppression was greater with the combination of carotenoids and vitamin E than with carotenoids alone.
Conclusion: The antioxidants used in this study provided protection against erythema in humans and may be useful for diminishing sensitivity to ultraviolet light.
The effect of vitamin-mineral supplementation on juvenile delinquency among American schoolchildren: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial.
J Altern Complement Med. 2000 Feb;6(1):31-5.
Schoenthaler SJ, Bier ID.
CONTEXT: Numerous studies conducted in juvenile correctional institutions have reported that violence and serious antisocial behavior have been cut almost in half after implementing nutrient-dense diets that are consistent with the World Health Organization’s guidelines for fats, sugar, starches, and protein ratios. Two controlled trials tested whether the cause of the behavioral improvements was psychological or biological in nature by comparing the behavior of offenders who either received placebos or vitamin-mineral supplements designed to provide the micronutrient equivalent of a well-balanced diet. These randomized trials reported that institutionalized offenders, aged 13 to 17 years or 18 to 26 years, when given active tablets produced about 40% less violent and other antisocial behavior than the placebo controls. However, generalization could not be made to typical schoolchildren without a controlled trial examining violence and antisocial behavior in public schools.
OBJECTIVES: To determine if schoolchildren, aged 6 to 12 years, who are given low dose vitamin-mineral tablets will produce significantly less violence and antisocial behavior in school than classmates who are given placebos.
DESIGN: A stratified randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with pretest and post-test measures of antisocial behavior on school property.
SETTINGS AND SUBJECTS: Two “working class,” primarily Hispanic elementary schools in Phoenix, Arizona. Approximately half of the potential schoolchildren participated, i.e., 468 students aged 6 to 12 years.
INTERVENTION: Daily vitamin-mineral supplementation at 50% of the U.S. recommended daily allowance (RDA) for 4 months versus placebo. The supplement was designed to raise vitamin-mineral intake up to the levels currently recommended by the National Academy of Sciences for children aged 6 to 11 years.
OUTCOME MEASURE: Violent and nonviolent delinquency as measured by official school disciplinary records.
RESULTS: Of the 468 students randomly assigned to active or placebo tablets, the 80 who were disciplined at least once between September 1st and May 1st served as the research sample. During intervention, the 40 children who received active tablets were disciplined, on average, 1 time each, a 47% lower mean rate of antisocial behavior than the 1.875 times each for the 40 children who received placebos (95% confidence interval, 29% to 65%, < 5 .020). The children who took active tablets produced lower rates of antisocial behavior in 8 types of recorded infractions: threats/fighting, vandalism, being disrespectful, disorderly conduct, defiance, obscenities, refusal to work or serve, endangering others, and nonspecified offenses.
CONCLUSION: Poor nutritional habits in children that lead to low concentrations of water-soluble vitamins in blood, impair brain function and subsequently cause violence and other serious antisocial behavior. Correction of nutrient intake, either through a well-balanced diet or low-dose vitamin-mineral supplementation, corrects the low concentrations of vitamins in blood, improves brain function and subsequently lowers institutional violence and antisocial behavior by almost half. This paper adds to the literature by enabling previous research to be generalized from older incarcerated subjects with a history of antisocial behavior to a normal population of younger children in an educational setting.
The Antioxidant Effect of Palm Fruit Carotene on Skin Lipid Peroxidation in Guinea Pigs as Estimated by Chemiluminescence-HPLC Method.
J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 1995, 40: 315-324.
Keita Someya, Yuka Totsuka, Michiaki Murakoshi, Hirokazu Kitano, Teruo Miyazawa
To study the antioxidant effect of palm fruit carotene on skin lipid peroxidation, the guinea pigs were orally fed ad libitum palm fruit carotene, β-carotene, or vehicle emulsions, in which carotene (0.05%, w/w) was suspended in drinking water. After treatment of carotene for 12 weeks, animals were exposed to ultraviolet ray (UV), and squalene monohydroperoxide (SqOOH)/squalene (Sq) ratios in the skin lipid were analyzed using the chemiluminiscence-HPLC method. Carotene accumulation was found in the skin of guinea pigs that were orally administered palm fruit carotene or β-carotene. After UV irradiation, especially immediately after, the rise in the SqOOH/Sq ratio was effectively suppressed in both carotene-drinking groups in contrast with the control (carotene-untreated) group. An inverse correlation between the carotene content and the SqOOH/Sq ratio in the skin was also observed. The results suggested that palm fruit carotene intake prevents skin lipid peroxidation caused by UV irradiation.
The Effect of Natural Carotenoid (Palm Fruit Carotene) Intake on Skin Lipid Peroxidation in Hairless Mice.
J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 1994 40: 303-314.
Keita Someya, Yuka Totsuka, Michiaki Murakoshi, Hirokazu Kitano, Teruo Miyazawa
To study the effect of palm fruit carotene intake on skin lipid peroxidation, hairless mice were given ad libitum palm frui carotene, β-carotene, or vehicle emulsions for 15 weeks in which the carotene (0.005%, w/w) was suspended in drinking water, and then their dorsal skin was exposed to ultraviolet ray (UV). The carotene content of the skin was increased by the oral intake of palm fruit carotene or β-carotene. In carotene-drinking mice, before the UV irradiation, the amount of thiobarbituric acid-reacting substances (TBARS) in the skin was lower than that of control (carotene untreated) mice. The skin TBARS immediately after the UV irradiation was lower in carotene-treated mice than in control mice. At 24 h after irradiation, the skin TBARS of mice that orally received palm fruit carotene was lower than that of β-carotene mice. Immediately after the UV irradiation, the skin carotene content transiently decreased but gradual recovery was observed at 48 h. In palm fruit carotene-treated mice, the rate of carotene recovery after UV irradiation was higher than in β-carotene-treated mice. Retinol found in the skin had also decreased after UV irradiation, and recovered gradually in both carotene-drinking groups within 48 h. These results suggested that the carotene intake, especially palm fruit carotene, prevented skin lipid peroxidation in hairless mice.
The effect of 7 to 8 months of vitamin/mineral supplementation on the vitamin and mineral status of athletes.
Int J Sport Nutr. 1992 Jun;2(2):123-34.
Telford RD, Catchpole EA, Deakin V, McLeay AC, Plank AW.
Blood indicators of eight vitamins (B1, B2, B6, C, E, A, B12, folate) and six minerals (Cu, Mg, Zn, Ca, P, Al) were measured in 86 athletes before and after a 7- to 8-month period of training. During this period half consumed a multivitamin/mineral supplement and a matched group took a placebo. Following the supplementation period, blood biochemical indicators of B1, B6, B12, and folate status all increased but there were no significant effects of supplementation on B2, C, E, and A, or on the blood levels of any of the minerals. The supplementation had no effect on red or white cell counts or on hemoglobin levels. Irrespective of the supplementation, some blood measures varied according to sex, females evidencing significantly higher values than males for vitamins C, E, copper, magnesium, and aluminium, with B2 being higher in males. It is concluded that 7 to 8 months of multivitamin/mineral supplementation increased the blood nutritional status of some vitamins but did not affect any blood mineral levels, and that some blood nutritional indicators may vary according to sex.
Vitamin and mineral status in physically active men: effects of a high-potency supplement.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Jan;55(1):1-7.
Singh A, Moses FM, Deuster PA.
Changes in nutritional status during supplementation with a high-potency multivitamin-mineral supplement were examined in 22 physically active men randomly assigned to take a supplement (n = 11) or placebo (n = 11) for approximately 12 wk. Four-day dietary intakes, blood concentrations, and urinary excretions of selected vitamins and minerals were measured before, during (approximately 6 and 12 wk), and after supplementation. No changes were observed in blood concentrations of vitamins A and C and measures of zinc, magnesium, and calcium status; the supplement provided less than 300% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of these nutrients. In contrast, blood concentrations of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamins B-6 and B-12, pantothenate, and biotin increased significantly (P less than 0.05) by 6 wk to values that were maintained until the end of the supplementation. These vitamins were provided in amounts that ranged from 396% (biotin) to 6250% (vitamin B-6) of the RDA. Urinary excretions of these vitamins also increased during supplementation and both blood and urine values returned to presupplementation concentrations at approximately 13.5 wk postsupplementation.
Effect of vitamin and mineral supplementation on intelligence of a sample of schoolchildren.
Lancet. 1988 Jan 23;1(8578):140-3.
Benton D, Roberts G.
90 schoolchildren aged twelve and thirteen years kept a dietary diary for three days. In most cases the average intake of vitamins was close to the recommended daily allowance, although for a minority the intake was low; with minerals the recommended daily allowance was less commonly achieved. To examine the possibility that deficiency of dietary minerals and vitamins was preventing optimum psychological function, a multivitamin/mineral supplement or a placebo was administered double-blind for eight months to 60 of the children. The supplement group, but not the placebo group or the remaining 30 who took no tablets, showed a significant increase in non-verbal intelligence.