Effects of a multivitamin/multimineral supplement on young males with physical overtraining: a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blinded cross-over trial

Biomed Environ Sci. 2013 Jul;26(7):599-604. doi: 10.3967/0895-3988.2013.07.012.


Objective: To investigate the effects of vitamin-mineral supplement on young males with physical overtraining.

Methods: Two hundred and forty male Chinese field artillery personnel who undertook large scale and endurance military training and were on ordinary Chinese diet were randomized to receive a multivitamin/multimineral supplement or a placebo for 1 week. After a 1-week wash-out period, a cross-over with 1 week course of a placebo or multivitamin/multimineral supplement was conducted. Blood and urine samples were analyzed for adrenal, gonadal and thyroid hormones. In addition, cellular immune parameters (CD3+, CD3+CD4+, CD3+CD8+, CD4/CD8, CD3-CD56+, CD3-CD19+) were examined and psychological tests were performed before and after the training program and nutrition intervention.

Results: After a large scale and endurance military training, the participants showed significantly increased thyroid function, decreased adrenal cortex, testosterone and immunological function, and significantly increased somatization, anger and tension. Compared to placebo, multivitamin/ multimineral intervention showed significant effects on functional recovery of the pituitary - adrenal axis, pituitary-gonadal axis, pituitary- thyroid axis and immune system as well as psychological parameters.

Conclusion: High-intensity military operations have significant impacts on the psychology, physical ability and neuroendocrine-immune system in young males. Appropriate supplementation of multivitamin/multimineral can facilitate the recovery of the psychology, physical ability and neuroendocrine-immune system in young males who take ordinary Chinese diet.

Keywords: Diet supplement; Intervention; Overtraining; Randomized; Vitamins.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Emotions / drug effects
  • Exercise*
  • Hormones / blood
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / cytology
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Minerals / administration & dosage*
  • Psychological Tests
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Young Adult


  • Hormones
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins