Background: Theoretically, consumption of complex, multinutrient formulations of vitamins and minerals should be safe, as most preparations contain primarily the nutrients that have been in the human diet for millennia, and at safe levels as defined by the Dietary Reference Intakes. However, the safety profile of commercial formulae may differ from foods because of the amounts and combinations of nutrients they contain. As these complex formulae are being studied and used clinically with increasing frequency, there is a need for direct evaluation of safety and tolerability.
Objective: The aim of this project was to compile all known safety and tolerability data collected on one complex nutrient formula.
Data Sources and Results: Data were assembled from all the known published and unpublished studies for the complex formula with the largest amount of published research in mental health. Biological safety data from 144 children and adults were available from six sources: there were no occurrences of clinically meaningful negative outcomes/effects or abnormal blood tests that could be attributed to toxicity. Adverse event (AE) information from 157 children and adults was available from six studies employing the current version of this formula, and only minor, transitory reports of headache and nausea emerged. Only one of the studies permitted a direct comparison between micronutrient treatment and medication: none of the 88 pediatric and adult participants had any clinically meaningful abnormal laboratory values, but tolerability data in the group treated with micronutrients revealed significantly fewer AEs and less weight gain.
Conclusions: This compilation of safety and tolerability data is reassuring with respect to the broad spectrum approach that employs complex nutrient formula as a primary treatment.