Background: Psychological distress, including heightened anxiety, fear and depression, in those who survive a natural disaster
such as an earthquake is well supported by research. Although there are many efficacious treatments, it can be a challenge to reach
a large body of the community in a short period of time.\
Objective: To compare two micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) formulas (Berocca? and CNE?) and assess their impact on
emotions and stress related to the 6.3 earthquake on February 22nd 2011 in Christchurch, NZ.
Design: 91 adults experiencing heightened anxiety or stress 2-3 months following the earthquake were randomized to Berocca?,
CNE? low dose (CNE4), or CNE? high dose (CNE8), for 28 days and monitored weekly via on-line questionnaires and followed
one month post-trial. A non-randomized control group (n=25) completed questionnaires at baseline and 4 weeks.
Outcomes: All treatment groups experienced significant declines in psychological symptoms (p < .001). CNE? groups experienced
greater reduction in intrusive thoughts as compared with Berocca? (p = 0.05), with no group differences on other measures of
psychological symptoms. However, CNE8 group reported greater improvement in mood, anxiety, and energy (p < .05) with twice
as many reporting being ?much? to ?very much? improved and five times more likely to continue taking CNE? post-trial than
Berocca? group. Treated participants had better outcomes on most measures over 4 weeks as compared to controls.
Conclusion: This study supports micronutrients as an inexpensive and practical treatment for acute stress following a natural
disaster with a slight advantage to higher doses.
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