Polysaccharide supplement may boost memory, suggests study

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Carbohydrate

Ambrotose is based polysaccharides from aloe vera.
Ambrotose is based polysaccharides from aloe vera.
Mannatech, a network marketing company based in Coppell, TX, has announced the results of clinical trial showing memory support benefits for its polysaccharide dietary supplment formulation called Ambrotose. The trial showed improved performance on standard mental tests in the face of mental fatigue, the company said.

Ambotose is a formula combining polysaccharides from aloe vera with polysaccharides form other plant sources, said Mannatech CEO and chief science officer Robert Sinnott, PhD. The latest study​ builds on the data the company already has on the product, he said.

“We‘ve got the two ends of the product’s effects figured out. We know it has a gastrointestinal effect, we know that it has immune system function through the gut,”​ Sinott told NutraIngredients-USA. “We know, too, that it has a brain function.  But connecting all those dots is a challenge.

“As far as there being a clear method of action, we don’t have that yet. We know (the polysaccharides) bind to certain receptors in the gut. And we know that certain microbobes process these polysaccharides in certain ways,”​ he said.

“It’s part of the emerging connection between the brain and the gut.  The reason why everyone is going after it is there might be a link between diet and things like autism,”​ Sinnott said.

Study details

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, between subjects design trial, 73 middle-aged adults consumed 4 g of a proprietary mixture of non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs) (Ambrotose®​ complex), a rice flour placebo, or a sucrose control. Participants completed testing at baseline and 30 minutes post-consumption. Acute effects of consumption on mood, cognition, and blood glucose were evaluated during mental tests designed to induce mental fatigue.

“They were put thorugh a battery of mental activities. It’s a standardized process, things like counting backward. It’s pretty rigorous,”​ Sinnott said.

“The fatigue is represented by numerous changes in the brain that are pretty definitieve.  It’s not a subjective thing, and it’s not just about blood glucose depletion. After they were fatigued they gave them the product and then watched who was able to recover from the mental fatigue the best.  The Ambrotose group showed a statistically siginificant better recovery from the mental fatigue,”​ Sinnott said.   He also said the trial’s sucrose control was designed in such a way control for the glucose content of the Ambrotose formulation.

Source: Nutritional Neuroscience
2014, epub ahead of print, DOI: 10.1179/1476830513Y.0000000101
“Acute effects of a dietary non-starch polysaccharide supplement on cognitive performance in middle-aged adults”
Authors: T. Best et al

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