The recent viral photo of Malaysia’s new prime minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir having a meal with his wife Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah, has sparked a local craze over Berocca™, causing it to be sold out in most major retail pharmacies.
Netizens spotted and identified the supplement lying on the dining table in this photo to be Berocca (circled in red).
This sparked huge interest in Berocca probably because of the several reasons below
- Both Tun Dr. Mahathir and his wife Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah are medical doctors
- Both are nonagenarians
- Both are healthy, energetic and active
- Both are very popular and well-loved personalities among the people of Malaysia
This led people to believe that Berocca™ may be the secret to their longevity, health and energy. Is that true? Does Berocca™ have these properties?
What exactly is Berocca™?
From the official Australian Berocca™ website, it is described as “a specifically tailored vitamin and mineral supplement that may help enhance mental and physical performance when taken daily”.
Since it is a “vitamin and mineral supplement”, we would like to know its contents. The following is the content of soluble Berocca™ as extracted from their website
From this list, we are able to tell that Berocca™ contain mainly vitamin Bs, vitamin C and also three types of minerals namely, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc.
What do these vitamins do?
Now that we know what is in Berocca™, lets take a look at what function(s) does each individual vitamin have.
If you don’t like the nitty-gritty details, feel free to skip this part and jump right to the next section on . To find out more on each vitamin and their individual function(s) click on “Show More” to see the details.
For those who did not read the full explanation above, here’s a summary. Berocca™ contains a myriad of Vitamin Bs whose roles are mainly to aid in energy production and utilization. They are also involved in producing healthy red blood cells which is necessary to carry oxygen around the body. It also contains minerals that allow these activities to occur, allow muscle function and regulate brain activity.
Would Berocca™ give me more energy and keep me alert?
While the science behind Vitamins and these minerals may be sound, when combined, does it really have an effect? We review several medical literatures and here is our take
- A study in 2011 concluded that subjects taking Berocca™ had better ‘concentration’ and ‘mental stamina’ during work and greater ‘alertness’.
- Another study in 2010 conducted in subjects taking Berocca™ rated themselves as less stressed, have better mood and more vigour.
- It is important to note that both studies were sponsored by Bayer®, the manufacturer of Berocca™.
Studies have shown that taking Berocca™ or other similar products can help people to feel more alert and have better concentration. Due to the way the studies were conducted, the assessments were mainly subjective questionnaires, therefore the effects felt by individuals may be subjective as well.
Will it make me live longer?
No. So far there are no studies that show that Berocca™ or similar formulations (including formulations of vitamin B complex) provide any benefits in longevity.
Are there any side-effects or harm?
Thus far, Berocca™ or similar formulations (including formulations of vitamin B complex) are very safe to consume and not shown to increase risk of harm to humans. However, it should be noted that taking this will cause urine to be particularly yellowish as a consequence of Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), which is a yellow pigment, being excreted through urine.
Disclaimer: The author hereby declared that there is no conflict of interest and this article is not sponsored by any companies.
- com.au. (2018). Berocca Performance For Improved Concentration | Berocca Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.berocca.com.au/products/berocca-performance/ [Accessed 24 May 2018].
- Murray, R. (2012). Harper’s illustrated biochemistry. Stamford, CT: Appleton & Lange.
- Kennedy, D., Veasey, R., Watson, A., Dodd, F., Jones, E., Maggini, S. and Haskell, C. (2010). Effects of high-dose B vitamin complex with vitamin C and minerals on subjective mood and performance in healthy males. Psychopharmacology, 211(1), pp.55-68.
- Kennedy, D., Veasey, R., Watson, A., Dodd, F., Jones, E., Tiplady, B. and Haskell, C. (2011). Vitamins and psychological functioning: a mobile phone assessment of the effects of a B vitamin complex, vitamin C and minerals on cognitive performance and subjective mood and energy. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 26(4-5), pp.338-347.