Many college students report dealing with varying stress and anxiety levels throughout college for several different reasons, and almost everyone experiences stress to some degree. Likewise, people experience stress for many other reasons, and people respond to it differently, but it does not have to cripple or prevent you from reaching your goals.
Students who suffer from stress, anxiety, or depression in college often use supplements as an alternative to professional help.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted to determine if a multi-ingredient supplement (MIS) could support optimal mood balance and reduce daily stress among healthy college students.
An Onnit study is the latest addition to the company’s growing portfolio of clinical trials to validate the benefits of the multi-ingredient supplements sold under the “total human optimization” brand.
The experts evaluated New Mood serotonin boosters in the Journal of Dietary Supplements for their ability to reduce daily anxiety and regulate mood. Due to similar stressors such as academic performance, success pressures, and post-graduation plans, college students were chosen as test participants.
The authors concluded that a multi-ingredient supplement containing lemon balm, 5-HTP, L-Tryptophan, and valerian root might aid in reducing physiological anxiety in a healthy collegiate population during stressful times. Physiological stress improvements were observed following New Mood supplementation, but The experts could not distinguish psychological effects.
During the study, participants (aged 18-22) were randomly assigned to either placebo (PLA; 29) or MIS (n = 27) groups and were instructed to take two capsules upon waking and before bed. The researchers measured resting heart rate, blood pressure, salivary cortisol awakening response (CAR) at weeks 2, 5, and 8, and depression, anxiety, stress, and affect.
A similar study was conducted by Qi Qin Currently, where 120 students were enrolled to evaluate the impact of probiotic supplement preparations (PSP) on test anxiety based on the microbiota of the intestine. A Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and Hamilton Anxiety Scale evaluation showed that PSP alleviated symptoms of depression and anxiety in students with test anxiety.
As a result of high-throughput sequencing, students consumed PSP, leading to increased Streptococcus and Akkermansia in the gut microbiota that was lowered by anxiety. In addition to reducing intestinal pathogens like Fusobacterium and Clostridium, taking PSP reduced intestinal pathogens.
The researchers found that PSP reduced test anxiety in Chinese college students and restored disturbed microbiota to normal levels, making the use of PSP a promising test anxiety treatment.
Results of the Study
Throughout the study, CAR, depression, and positive and negative affect showed statistically significant negative changes, although only CAR differed by group.
This study showed that as students consumed the supplements during week 5 (around midterm exams, a particularly stressful time for college students), physiological stress decreased by 57%, while physiological stress increased by 35% for the placebo group.
As a result, MIS decreased from 0.22 grams/dL to 0.14 grams/dL (-0.8 gram/dL), while PLA increased from 0.11 grams/dL to 0.17 grams/dL.
A decline in CAR was observed for MIS during the study, with an average CAR of 0.08 grams/dL at the end of the study. These results suggest that MIS may provide a healthy physiological response to stressful life events.