Roberts, MASL Lab, complete large-scale clinical trial in partnership with Ritual

December 18, 2019


Mike Roberts working in his labThe Molecular and Applied Sciences Laboratory, directed by Dr. Mike Roberts in the School of Kinesiology, recently completed a large-scale clinical trial that tested the efficacy of a multi-vitamin/mineral/omega-3 complex on nutrient status in pre-menopausal women (21-40 years old) over a three month period. The trial was sponsored by the health company, Ritual.

“The results were very positive,” said Roberts. “The good thing about this company is that they conducted a lot of research and sourced high-quality ingredients before they put their product on the market. They do not cut corners, and this is what I’d call ‘gold-standard’ for the supplement industry.”

Roberts described the clinical trial as a “double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention.” This means that his lab received the active and placebo supplements for the trial without knowing which was which.

“We had 43 women who were randomly assigned to consume the multi-vitamin on a daily basis during the 12-week trial, and 51 women who were randomly assigned to consume the placebo,” he explained. “At the beginning of the intervention we did a complete blood work-up, and conducted a post-trial blood analysis after 12 weeks of supplementation. After the analyses were complete, the company unveiled the groups to us. We found significant improvements among the women who took the multi-vitamin/mineral/omega-3 complex in terms of improved blood levels of folate, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. The same was not true for the women who took the placebo. We still have more results coming in.”

Roberts said not all supplement companies go to such lengths to quantify the impact of their multi-vitamin ingredients and ensure the scientific validation of their products.

“We were very pleased to work with Ritual,” he said. “The Molecular and Applied Sciences Laboratory (MASL) is becoming known around the world as a university lab that practices good science with high ethical standards. We have solid scientific protocols, are fortunate to have an excellent human research ethics review board on campus to allow us to do the research, and are fortunate to work with outstanding industry partners and graduate students.”

Kinesiology Master’s student Shelby Osburn coordinated the trial. “Shelby is one of our many outstanding graduate students, and these students are instrumental in our lab’s history and ongoing success. Shelby presented the data at the American College of Nutrition’s annual conference in San Diego and took home the prize for best research presentation. It’s very rewarding to work with colleagues like Shelby and sponsors like Ritual. When companies like Ritual go to great lengths to formulate and fund third-party research at prestigious universities, consumers can be more assured that the company is doing everything in its power to make excellent products.”