Quick Navigation

Subjective Well-Being

Self-reported ratings of well being and happiness; either in general (euphoria-inducing compound) or reducing a disease state to enough of a degree to make the persons relatively happy.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Dec 12, 2012
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect subjective well-being
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Notable Very High See all 4 studies
The increase in well being appears to be quite large, but secondary to reducing anxiety. At least one study has noted that, in healthy persons subject to a minor stressor (testing) that kava enhanced cheerfulness
grade-b Notable Very High See all 4 studies
Increases in subjective well being and contentment in fatigued or stressed individuals appears to be greater than other supplements.
grade-b Minor Moderate See all 11 studies
The influence of creatine on well being and general happiness is usually dependent on it treating a disease state; there does not appear to be a per se benefit to well being.
grade-b Minor Very High See all 3 studies
Subjective well being increases in disease states where other symptoms (seen as adverse) are decreased; an inherent increase of well being is uncertain.
grade-b Minor High See all 3 studies
An improvement in mood has been noted in persons with cerebral injury, but not in otherwise healthy middle aged persons.
grade-b Minor Very High See all 5 studies
There appears to be an increase in well being and happiness in persons who either have a disease state treated (ie, better glycemic control in diabetes or less erectile dysfunction) and this may also apply to acute usage of 400mg panax ginseng during acute mental stress. In an unstressed and healthy person, panax ginseng is unlikely to have benefit
grade-b Minor Very High See all 4 studies
Alongside improvements in sickness comes improved well being and vitality associated with supplementation over placebo.
grade-b - High See all 4 studies
No significant influence on well being is noted with DHEA per se, although it may come secondary to other changes occurring during DHEA supplementation (such as improved functionality in elderly persons)
grade-b - Very High See all 4 studies
Studies assessing well being in otherwise healthy persons or those with disease states not associated with depression have failed to find any interaction with vitamin E supplementation.
grade-c Notable Very High See 2 studies
Subjective well being and enjoyment during cognitive tasks appears to be significantly improved modafinil supplementation, and this is notable as it has been noted to occur in otherwise healthy persons taking modafinil for nootropic purposes
grade-c Notable - See study
Although only based on one study, in men with central obesity and a wide variety of general health complaints supplementation has outright abolished all measured complaints such as loss of libido, high appetite, pain, and forgetfulness.
grade-c Minor High See all 4 studies
An improvement in well being has been noted secondary to reducing anxiety symptoms.
grade-c Minor - See study
A slight improvement in subjective well being and happiness has been noted in elderly persons given blueberries over a few weeks as a daily supplement.
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
May increase subjective well being and mood state, possibly secondary to reducing fatigue or from catecholamines
grade-c Minor - See study
Chlorogenic acid may have a mood enhancing effect independent of caffeine
grade-c Minor - See study
Reported sadness during cognitive testing appears to be reduced with D-serine supplementation when compared to placebo
grade-c Minor - See study
Appears to increase well being acutely following the first doses of ephedrine, secondary to the psychostimulatory effects
grade-c Minor - See study
In otherwise normal men supplementing eurycoma, an increase in overall quality of life and happiness is seen (alongside increases in libido)
grade-c Minor Moderate See all 3 studies
An improvement in well being has been noted in nondepressed and nonelderly obese persons given fish oil supplementation to a small magnitude.
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in well being has been noted in unhealthy persons given green tea catechins
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
There appears to be an increase in subjective well being during stress when tyrosine is preloaded (perhaps secondary to the antistress effects of tyrosine), although this is not overly reliable
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in well being has been noted
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in well being has been noted to be secondary to a reduction in cortisol
grade-c Minor Very High See all 3 studies
Although mood state during cognitive testing is unaffected, quality of life is increased when headaches or abdominal pain is being treated with peppermint oil.
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in well being and mood has been noted in students undergoing academic testing, which correlated with improved test scores
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in well being may occur secondary to weight loss, although due to the complications in weight loss with pyruvate this may not be feasible
grade-c Minor - See study
An improvement in mood has been noted in hospitalized persons
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
Although the evidence is mixed currently, zinc has been previously associated with an improvement in mood state and has mechanisms by which it can work. It likely has a small but positive influence.
grade-c - - See study
In persons with peripheral artery disease (intermittent claudication), despite improving symptoms as assessed by a treadmill walking test there does not appear to be an improvement in self-reported well being
grade-c - - See study
Acute ingestion of this herb in otherwise healthy individuals does not appear to alter subjective mood parameters.
grade-c - Moderate See all 3 studies
While one study using high dose flavanols (250-500mg) found increased well being in subjects during cognitive testing, other studies using dark chocolate have failed to notice any benefit to self-reported well being compared to placebo.
grade-c - - See 2 studies
Insufficient evidence to support an inherent contentment boosting effect, as the lone study was confounded with weight loss.
grade-c - Very High See all 3 studies
No significant changes in subjective well being associated with carnitine intake
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on subjective well being noted
grade-c - Moderate See 2 studies
Two differing studies have noted either no improvement of well being in menopausal women, or a significant (near 80%) improvement; more research is needed to refine the actual effect, but the study noting no effect is considered higher quality.
grade-c - - See study
Despite improving symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency in the afflicted persons, supplementation failed to lead to an increase in quality of life relative to placebo.
grade-c - - See study
While there are isolated instances of increased well-being, they do not appear to occur frequently enough in otherwise healthy adults to cause a whole-group increase in well-being.
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on subjective well being and mood state per se
grade-d Minor - See study
May increase well being in those with menopause if a reduction of symptoms occurs.
grade-d Minor - See study
Increase in well-being was likely secondary to reducing joint pain from osteoarthritis
grade-d Minor - See study
Minor improvements in well being secondary to reducing joint pain
grade-d Minor - See study
An increase in well being has been noted with lavender aromatherapy, possible secondary to the relaxing effects
grade-d Minor Very High See 2 studies
An increase in well being has been noted to be secondary to the reduced rate of cognitive decline
grade-d - - See study