Study Title:

Association between Micronutrients and Heart Rate Variability: A Review of Human Studies.

Study Abstract

Heart rate variability (HRV) is a measure of the variation between consecutive heartbeats. It provides a marker of the interplay between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, and there is an increasing body of evidence confirming an increased HRV is associated with better mental and physical health. HRV may be a useful marker of stress as it represents the ability of the heart to respond to a variety of physiological and environmental stimuli. HRV tends to decrease as we age and is positively associated with physical activity, fitness, and healthier lifestyles. The relation between HRV and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) has also received some attention in the research literature. In this review, cross-sectional and interventional studies on human populations examining the relation between HRV and micronutrients are appraised. Micronutrients identified and examined in this review include vitamins D, B-12, C, and E; the minerals magnesium, iron, zinc, and coenzyme Q10; and a multivitamin-mineral formula. Due to the paucity of research and significant heterogeneity in studies, definitive conclusions about the effects of these micronutrients on HRV cannot be made at this time. However, there is accumulating evidence suggesting deficiencies in vitamins D and B-12 are associated with reduced HRV, and zinc supplementation during pregnancy can have positive effects on HRV in offspring up until the age of 5 y. To further elucidate the relation between micronutrients and HRV, additional robustly designed and adequately powered studies are required.

Study Information

Adv Nutr. 2020 May 1;11(3):559-575. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmz136. PMID: 31942924; PMCID: PMC7231600.

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