Information for General Practitioners

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Micronutrients: What is the evidence?

Research has investigated the role of nutrition in the development of mental health issues (Davidson & Kaplan, 2012; O’Kennedy, 2016).

Individuals with poor mental health report nutrient-poor diets when compared to healthy controls (Kaplan et al, 2015; Davidson & Kaplan, 2012).

More recent trials have demonstrated efficacy of micronutrients in improving emotional regulation, reduce stress and improving attention/concentration and hyperactivity symptoms and improving insomnia with no adverse effects (Gariballa & Forster, 2007; Rucklidge et al, 2011; Rucklidge et al, 2014; Popper, 2014; Lothian et al, 2016).

The safety profile of micronutrient treatment in adults and children is reassuring (Simpson et al, 2011, Ruckldige et al, 2014).

What is the trial?

To test the effectiveness of micronutrients on symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults.

200 participants will be randomised to a placebo or treatment condition.

Participation is limited to people living in the Canterbury region.

The treatment condition will involve taking 12 micronutrient tablets per day (4 pills, 3 times a day) for 10 weeks.

The trial will also include a 2 week initial baseline phase, where no treatment or placebo will be offered.

Participants will complete initial assessment questionnaires and weekly monitoring of their symptoms.

At the conclusion of the trial, all participants will be offered micronutrients for a further 10 weeks in an open trial phase.

What is the intervention?

The micronutrient formula that will be used in the trial is Daily Essential Nutrients. The ingredients are as follows:

Ingredients: 1 capsule 12 capsules
Vitamin A (as retinyl palmitate) 480 IU 5,760 IU
Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) 50 mg 600 mg
Vitamin D (as cholecalciferol) 250 IU 3,000 IU
Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopheryl succinate) 30 IU 360 IU
Vitamin K (75% as phylloquinone; 25% as menaquinone-7) 10 mcg 120 mcg
Thiamin (as thiamin mononitrate) 4 mg  60 mg
Riboflavin 1.5 mg 18 mg
Niacin (as niacinamide) 7.5 mg 90 mg
Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride) 5.8 mg 69.9 mg
Folate (as L-methylfolate calcium) 66.8 mcg 801 mcg
Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin) 75 mcg 900 mcg
Biotin 90 mcg 1080 mcg
Pantothenic acid (as d-calcium pantothenate) 2.5 mg 30 mg
Calcium (as chelate) 110 mg 1,320 mg
Iron (as chelate) 1.15 mg 13.8 mg
Phosphorus (as chelate) 70 mg 840 mg
Iodine (as chelate) 17 mcg 204 mcg
Magnesium (as chelate) 50 mg 600 mg
Zinc (as chelate) 4 mg 48 mg
Selenium (as chelate) 17 mcg 204 mcg
Copper (as chelate) 0.6 mg 7.2 mg
Manganese (as chelate) 0.8 mg 9.6 mg
Chromium (as chelate) 52 mcg 624 mcg
Molybdenum (as chelate) 12 mcg 144 mcg
Potassium (as chelate) 20 mg 240 mg
Proprietary blend ingredients:
Choline bitartrate
Alpha-lipoic acid
Acetylcarnitine (as acetyl-L-carnitine hydrochloride)
Grape seed extract
Ginkgo biloba leaf extract
Methionine (as L-methionine hydrochloride)
Cysteine (as N-acetyl-L-cysteine)
Germanium sesquioxide (as chelate)
Boron (as chelate)
Vanadium (as chelate)
Lithium orotate (as chelate)
Nickel (as chelate)
Other ingredients:
Citric acid
Magnesium stearate
Silicon dioxide

The placebo formula ingredients are as follows:

Ingredients: 1 capsule 12 capsules
Fiber Acacia Gum 300 mg 3,600 mg
Maltodextrin 395.90 mg 4,750.8 mg
Cocoa Powder 4 mg 48 mg
Riboflavin Powder 0.10 mg 1.2mg


Inclusion and Exclusion criteria


1) between 18 and 65 years,

2) regular access to the internet,

3) considered reliable and compliant with the protocol (including the ingestion of as many as 12 capsules/day with food),

4) be presenting to their GP with functionally impairing anxiety or depressive symptoms which cannot be better accounted for by a medical condition,

5) and be living in the Canterbury area.


1) The main strict contraindications are metabolic conditions such as Wilson’s disease (copper), haemochromatosis (iron), phenylketonuira (phenylalanine) and trimethylaminuria (choline).

2) Neurological disorders involving brain or other central function (e.g., intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy, MS, narcolepsy) or other major psychiatric condition requiring hospitalization (e.g. significant mood disorder with associated suicidality, substance dependence or psychosis),

3) Any serious medical condition,

4) Any patient known to be allergic to the ingredients of the intervention (see above).

5) Any other medication with primarily central nervous system activity, including psychotropic medication (e.g. SSRIs, tricyclics, benzodiazepines). Participants must have been off of these medications for a minimum of four weeks prior to the trial. Participants are not encouraged to come off of a medication in order to participate in the trial. All exclusions will be reviewed by study physician.

6) There are some other medications that can have interactions with micronutrients (e.g. medication for thyroid conditions). Investigators will review potential participants’ medications for interactions and may decline participation in the trial if interactions exist. Please contact us for more information if you are concerned about potential interactions (contact details below).

7) Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

For more information on a current trial exploring micronutrients, depression and anxiety in pregnancy:

To refer suitable patients to the trial, please provide their details in the form below:

For more information, please contact Meredith Blampied (Principal Investigator):

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