Nitrosigine boosts cognitive performance in healthy adults: 2 RCTs

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Enhanced mental flexibility has been shown to benefit athletes when faced with quick decisions, like in soccer. Image © iStock / Eugene_Onischenko
Enhanced mental flexibility has been shown to benefit athletes when faced with quick decisions, like in soccer. Image © iStock / Eugene_Onischenko

Related tags: Better, Nutrition

Daily supplements of inositol-stabilized arginine silicate (Nitrosigine by Nutrition 21, LLC) may boost cognitive performance in tests requiring mental flexibility, processing speed and executive functioning, according to two double-blind placebo-controlled crossover studies.

Data published in Nutrients​ indicated that 1500 mg per day of inositol-stabilized arginine silicate increased scores on the Trail Making Test (TMT) by about 30%. TMT is a widely- neuropsychological assessment of cognitive processing speed and executive functioning, explained researchers led by Dr Douglas Kalman from QPS-Miami Research Associates.

“Enhanced mental flexibility has been shown to benefit athletes when faced with quick decisions and associated adaptations often required during competition, especially in field sports such as football (American soccer),” ​they wrote. “In addition, the ability to efficiently allocate attention is an important factor for success in all sports. The ability to multitask may help an athlete save energy through more efficient processing, thus also allowing them to perform better than before.

“Therefore, the improvements in complex processing speed with [Nitrosigine] supplementation reported in this study, as measured by TMT B, suggest benefit as a cognitive enhancing nutritional ingredient with specific applications in sports, competitions, and other athletic activities.”

Nitrosigine

The potential mechanism of action is linked to an increase in levels of the potent vasodilator nitric oxide (NO), a compound which primarily dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow. Earlier research has linked NO to memory.

Nutrition 21’s Nitrosigine has FDA New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) notification status, and has self-affirmed Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status at the level of 1,500 mg per day for use in nutritional bars and beverages.

The two studies reported in Nutrients​ were funded by Nutrition 21.

Study details

Brain 4x3
Image © iStock

Dr Kalman and his co-workers recruited 11 healthy young men for the first of the two studies and randomly assigned them to receive 1,500 mg of inositol-stabilized arginine silicate per day or placebo for 14 days. This was followed by a seven-day washout period before crossing over to the other group. In the second study, 16 healthy young men were randomly assigned to the same dose of Nitrosigine or placebo for three days, again followed by a seven-day washout period before crossing over to the other group.

Results showed that the Nitrosigine supplementation was associated with significantly faster performance in the TMT B of 28% in the first study, compared to baseline, and 33% in the second study compared to placebo (and by 35% compared to baseline).

“Faster times in TMT B are associated with enhanced visual search, speed of processing, mental flexibility, and executive functions under performance demands,” ​explained Dr Kalman and his co-authors.

“Results from two separate placebo-controlled clinical studies showed that daily doses of [Nitrosigine] significantly improved TMT B times, with effects seen in as little as 10 min after dosing and continued improvement with ongoing use,”​ they wrote.

“Nitrosigine led to a significant decrease in TMT B time compared to placebo, with an effect size of d = 0.80, which shows the strength of the effect to be considerable. Improvement in TMT B test times suggests improved complex processing speed in subjects treated with [Nitrosigine].

“Improved mental flexibility is an area of potential athletic enhancement which is deserving of further research​,​they concluded.

Source: Nutrients
2016, Volume 8, Number 11, Page 736; doi:10.3390/nu8110736
“Randomized Prospective Double-Blind Studies to Evaluate the Cognitive Effects of Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate in Healthy Physically Active Adults”
Authors: D. Kalman et al 

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