British Journal of Nutrition

Full Papers

Multivitamin and dietary supplements, body weight and appetite: results from a cross-sectional and a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study

Geneviève C. Majora1, Eric Douceta2, Mélanie Jacqmaina1, Myriam St-Ongea1, Claude Boucharda3 and Angelo Tremblaya1 c1

a1 Division of Kinesiology, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Laval University, Québec, G1K 7P4, Canada

a2 School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

a3 Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA


Two studies were conducted to compare characteristics of consumers and non-consumers of vitamin and/or dietary supplements (study 1) and to assess the effect of a multivitamin and mineral supplementation during a weight-reducing programme (study 2). Body weight and composition, energy expenditure, and Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire scores were compared between consumers and non-consumers of micronutrients and/or dietary supplements in the Québec Family Study (study 1). In study 2, these variables and appetite ratings (visual analogue scales) were measured in forty-five obese non-consumers of supplements randomly assigned to a double-blind 15-week energy restriction ( − 2930 kJ/d) combined with a placebo or with a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Compared with non-consumers, male consumers of vitamin and/or dietary supplements had a lower body weight (P < 0·01), fat mass (P < 0·05), BMI (P < 0·05), and a tendency for greater resting energy expenditure (P = 0·06). In women, the same differences were observed but not to a statistically significant extent. In addition, female supplements consumers had lower disinhibition and hunger scores (P < 0·05). In study 2, body weight was significantly decreased after the weight-loss intervention (P < 0·001) with no difference between treatment groups. However, fasting and postprandial appetite ratings were significantly reduced in multivitamin and mineral-supplemented women (P < 0·05). Usual vitamin and/or dietary supplements consumption and multivitamin and mineral supplementation during a weight-reducing programme seems to have an appetite-related effect in women. However, lower body weight and fat were more detectable in male than in female vitamin and/or dietary supplements consumers.

(Received May 15 2007)

(Revised August 28 2007)

(Accepted September 21 2007)

(Online publication November 01 2007)


c1 Corresponding author: Dr Angelo Tremblay, fax +1 418 656 3044, email


Abbreviations: AUC, area under the curve; CS, consumers; FFM, fat-free mass; FM, fat mass; MMS, multivitamin + mineral supplement; NCS, non-consumers; REE, resting energy expenditure