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Standard Process supplements show ‘modest’ benefits for cognitive functioning in healthy older adults

By Stephen DANIELLS , 01-May-2014
Last updated on 01-May-2014 at 18:55 GMT

Standard Process supplements show ‘modest’ benefits for cognitive functioning in healthy older adults

Supplements of a Ginkgo biloba plus choline-based formula may produce modest improvements in executive functioning, according to a new study from Standard Process using its Ginkgo Synergy plus Choline products.

Another arm of the study used the company’s OPC Synergy plus Catalyn products, and also found benefits relating to the ability to make verbal associations to certain letters, according to findings published in journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine .

“The formulae used in the current study were well-tolerated among all subjects, as is typically reported in the literature,” wrote researchers from University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Standard Process. “Our results show that the Ginkgo Synergy plus Choline formula is associated with isolated improvements in cognitive and immune functioning. Our findings in cognition are generally consistent with prior work by other investigators using Ginkgo biloba.

“The OPC Synergy plus Catalyn formula (containing antioxidants and A, B, C, and D vitamins) was less effective than Gingko biloba in our study. Its benefit was associated with isolated and short-term improvement in verbal fluency.”

This study, while presenting modest results on only a few measures studied, adds to the body of nutrition science because it furthers the discussion on the role nutritional complexity can play in complicated challenges like aging-related cognitive health.

‘Helping clinicians make good choices for their patients’

Commenting on the study’s findings, David Barnes, PhD, Director of Research, Standard Process, told us that the company pursues clinical research because it cares about helping clinicians make good choices for their patients.

“This study suggests that each of the two protocols could be used in conjunction with vital lifestyle adjustments,” he said.

“It also furthers the discussion on the role nutritional complexity can play in complicated challenges like cognitive health for the aging population.”

Dr Barnes is a member of the expert panel for the NutraIngredients-USA Cognitive Health Forum on May 22. For more and information and to register, please click HERE .

Study details

Dr Barnes and his co-workers recruited 97 English-speaking, non-smoking, healthy older adults to participate in their randomized, double-blind trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive Ginkgo Synergy plus Choline supplements, OPC Synergy plus Catalyn supplements, or placebo for six months. For a detailed description of the supplements, please click the journal link below.

A battery of cognitive tests was administered at the start, at the half-way point, and at the end of the study.

Results showed that the Ginkgo Synergy plus Choline supplements were associated with improvements in the Trail Making Test-B after three months of 18%. “Globally, the TMT is a valid and reliable assessment used to detect impairment in many cognitive areas,” explained the researchers. “The TMT-B has been shown to be a valid indicator of executive functioning and is likely to be more sensitive to assessing cognitive flexibility.”

Significant increases were also observed after six months on the Controlled Oral Word Association Trial-S (COWA Trial-S) for the ginkgo/choline group (18% increase) and the OPC Synergy plus Catalyn group (11%).

“The COWA assesses the ability to make verbal associations to certain letters (in this case, ‘S’),” they explained. “It has been used as a key part of neuropsychological testing to rule out common cognitive disorders, and it has been associated with frontal lobe lesions and [Alzheimer’s Disease].”

In addition, no adverse events were reported for the interventions.

“In summary, our study shows that a high-quality, concentrated Gingko biloba plus choline formula is safe and may offer modest cognitive and immunological benefits, among healthy older adults with no cognitive impairments,” they concluded.

Source: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
2014, 14:43, doi:  10.1186/1472-6882-14-43
“A double-blind, randomized clinical trial of dietary supplementation on cognitive and immune functioning in healthy older adults”
Authors: J.E Lewis, A.B. Melillo, E. Tiozzo, et al. 

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