Consuming Nawgan, the ‘alertness beverage’ containing citicoline and caffeine, can boost attention and alertness in young adults, according to results of a randomized clinical trial.
Data from 60 healthy adults indicated that consuming the citicoline-caffeine beverage produced “an improvement in the ability to accommodate new and relevant information within working memory and overall enhanced brain activation”, report researchers from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition .
“Overall, these findings suggest that the beverage significantly improved sustained attention, cognitive effort and reaction times in healthy adults,” they added.
Commenting on the new study, Rob Paul, PhD, a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist and creator of Nawgan, said he was not surprised by the findings, but still “thrilled with this further evidence in support of Nawgan.
“Our goal in developing Nawgan was to apply the very best science and offer consumers a highly functional beverage that was also great tasting and very healthy,” he added.
Speaking during NutraIngredients-USA’s recent Cognitive Health Forum (available on-demand HERE ), Dr Paul explained that his research program is focused on inflection points during development at which point the brain is changing and why those changes occur. “What are the mechanisms that drive those changes? The mechanisms really led to the development of Nawgan, and the ingredients and the doses and the process,” he said.
“The changes that take place with the brain actually happen much earlier than people realize, and many changes start to occur in the third decade.
“I, as a consumer and a scientist, was keen to develop a product that I would want to consume that could interface with that inflection point in development.”
And the science supports the beverage’s cognitive function claims. All versions of Nawgan contain 250mg of citicoline (Cognizin, Kyowa Hakko), which was shown in a separate 2011 study by McGlade et al. (Food and Nutrition Sciences , Vol. 3, pp. 769-773) to be an effective daily dosage to significantly improve brain function and attention in healthy individuals.
Another signal of the effectiveness of the beverage is the brand loyalty, said Corey Blick, Nawgan executive vice president. “We are seeing significant brand loyalty that range from college students - who are applying the beverage to meet challenging scholastic demands - to the baby boomers who are becoming more conscious about long-term brain health,” he said. “They are directly experiencing the value of the ingredients and appreciating the flavor profiles.”
For the new study, Steven Bruce and his co-workers recruited 60 healthy participants and assigned them to consume either Nawgan or a flavour-matched placebo. Participants were then assessed using technology to measure brain activity as well as performance on cognitive tests.
Results showed that Nawgan consumption was associated with significantly faster completion times on Austin Maze tests (which are correlated to visuospatial ability and memory) compared with placebo (134 seconds versus 186 seconds, respectively). The Nawgan consumers also completed more mazes than placebo.
Data from a test called the continuous performance task (CPT), which assesses working memory and attention, indicated that the Nawgan group had “significantly faster reaction times as well as significantly fewer false miss errors than the placebo group”, said Dr Bruce and his co-workers.
The best results from the go/no-go test, which measures attention and behavioral inhibition, were also observed following Nawgan consumption, with the active intervention group having significantly fewer false miss errors than the placebo group.
“Results of this study propose that 250 mg of citicoline, when combined with caffeine, results in significant improvements in measures of sustained attention and working memory,” wrote the researchers. “[T]he specific effects of each of the ingredients alone (citicoline and caffeine) compared with the other active compounds in the beverage were not systematically examined, and thus discrimination the single effects of each substance could not be ascertained.
“However, results suggest growing support that a citicoline–caffeine-based beverage is associated with improvements in measures of attention and mental alertness.”
Source: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3109/09637486.2014.940286
“Improvements in concentration, working memory and sustained attention following consumption of a natural citicoline–caffeine beverage”
Authors: S.E. Bruce, K.B. Werner, B.F. Preston, L.M. Baker