Liggins Institute


The VIOME study is investigating how vitamin and mineral supplements are absorbed by the body and their effect on metabolism (the way the body processes food). We’re looking for healthy men and women aged 19-30 and 65-76 who don't currently take supplements to take part.

Vitamin pills

What is the aim of this study?

VIOME stands for Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement Bioavailability and Metabolic Effects in Ageing. We're trying to find out how well your body absorbs vitamin and mineral supplement (known as 'bioavailability') after you take a single dose of a typical, over-the-counter supplement. We want to know if vitamin and mineral bioavailability changes as we age, and whether this has an effect on the body’s metabolism.

By taking part in this study you’ll learn more about your own metabolic responses to multivitamin and mineral supplements and help us better understand how multivitamin and mineral supplements are digested and metabolised. You’ll also be compensated for your time and effort.

Why is this study important?

As we get older, we're more at risk of nutritional deficiencies due to things like changes in digestion, metabolism and eating patterns. Multivitamin and mineral supplements are the most widely used type of dietary supplements. They're designed to make sure we get enough micronutrients and prevent us becoming deficient. However, we still don’t know how well older adults absorb supplemental micronutrients compared to younger adults and how these affect metabolism.

Vitamine capsule graphic

Who can take part?

We are looking for:

  • healthy males and females aged 19-30 and 65-76 years
  • with a BMI between 18-30 kg/m2
  • without chronic, metabolic, or digestive diseases
  • currently not taking vitamin/mineral supplements
  • who are willing to give blood and urine samples

You can take part if you haven’t been consuming vitamin/mineral supplements for the past 3 weeks.

What does the study involve?

If you take part in the study, you’ll come to one 4-hour morning visit at the Liggins Institute at the University’s Grafton campus following a short screening process. At the study visit we'll give you a multivitamin and mineral tablet (Centrum Advance) along with a standard breakfast. Blood and urine samples will be used to assess metabolic changes by measuring vitamins, minerals, and other metabolites. You will need to fast overnight before the study visit.

How do I enrol?

To ask a question or to enrol in this study, please contact the study coordinators, Amber Milan, Pankaja Sharma (Mob: 0220317366) and Clara Han (Mob: 0212552547) on

This study received Ethical Approval from The University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee on 20/06/2017 for 3 years. Reference Number 019392.