A new study has found that green oat (Avena sativa) extract can aid cognitive function such as speed of performance and episodic memory in healthy middle-aged adults.
The double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study assessed the effects of single doses of the green oat extract across a broad range of cognitive domains in adults aged 40–65 years who said their memory had declined with age.
The study, which was published in the Nutritional Neuroscience: An International Journal on Nutrition, Diet and Nervous System, was undertaken by Dr David Kennedy from the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre at Northumbria University and researchers from Frutarom whose green oat extract product Neuravena was used in the study.
The participants received a single dose of either placebo, 800mg or 1,600mg of the green oat extract on six occasions, and cognitive function was assessed by a range of computerized tasks measuring attention, spatial/working/episodic memory, and executive function pre-dose and at one, two-and-a-half, four and six hours post-dose.
The results showed that 800mg of green oat extract increased the speed of performance across post-dose assessments and improved performance of a delayed word recall task in terms of errors and an executive function task in terms of decreased thinking time and overall completion time. Working memory span was also increased, but only on the second occasion the dose was taken.
The researchers concluded that further research would be useful to investigate dosage and effects over a longer time period.