Background: Bipolar disorder is a lifelong problem with imperfect available treatments. Recent research has shown potential benefit of nutritional treatment for mood symptoms. The goal of the current study was to determine whether adults with bipolar disorder reported treatment benefit from consuming a micronutrient formula.
Methods: Self-report data were available from 682 adults who reported a diagnosis of bipolar disorder; 81% were taking psychiatric medications. Those reporting additional diagnoses were excluded, as well as those who provided data 60 times during 180 days of using the micronutrients, leaving 358 for analysis.
Results: Mean symptom severity was 41% lower than baseline after 3 months (effect size = 0.78), and 45% lower after 6 months (effect size = 0.76) (both paired t-tests significant, p 0.001). In terms of responder status, 53% experienced 50% improvement at 6 months. Half the sample were taking medications approved for bipolar disorder (lithium, anticonvulsants, atypical antipsychotics), and half were either medication-free or taking other medications: the magnitude of treatment benefit did not differ between these two groups. Regression analyses indicated that decreased symptom severity over the 6 months was associated with increasing micronutrient dosage and with reducing medication. Symptom improvements were significant and sustained at 6 months, suggesting that benefits were not attributable to placebo/expectancy effects.
Conclusions: Further research on this micronutrient formula is warranted.
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