Enhanced intakes of fruit and vegetables have been associated with improved psychological well-being. We investigated the potential mood-enhancing effects of kiwifruit, a fruit rich in vitamin C and a number of other important micronutrients. Young adult males (n 35) were supplemented with either half or two kiwifruit/d for 6 weeks. Profile of Mood States questionnaires were completed at baseline and following the intervention. No effect on overall mood was observed in the half a kiwifruit/d group; however, a 35 % (P = 0·06) trend towards a decrease in total mood disturbance and a 32 % (P = 0·063) trend towards a decrease in depression were observed in the two kiwifruit/d group. Subgroup analysis indicated that participants with higher baseline mood disturbance exhibited a significant 38 % (P = 0·029) decrease in total mood disturbance, as well as a 38 % (P = 0·048) decrease in fatigue, 31 % (P = 0·024) increase in vigour and a 34 % (P = 0·075) trend towards a decrease in depression, following supplementation with two kiwifruit/d. There was no effect of two kiwifruit/d on the mood scores of participants with lower baseline mood disturbance. Dietary intakes and body status of specific micronutrients indicated a significant increase in the participants' vitamin C intakes and corresponding plasma levels of the vitamin. The results indicate that enhanced intake of kiwifruit by individuals with moderate mood disturbance can improve overall mood.
Keywords: Ascorbate; Dietary intake; Mood disturbance; POMS, Profile of Mood States; Plasma vitamin C; TMD, total mood disturbance; high dose, two kiwifruit/d; low dose, half a kiwifruit/d.