Study: Spearmint extract may boost attention in healthy, active men and women

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / Vaivirga
Getty Images / Vaivirga

Related tags Nootropic Cognitive function

A study on 142 recreationally active young men and women found an association between spearmint extract supplementation and increased attention.

Researchers from Kemin Foods and the MusclePharm Sports Science Institute reported that, compared to a placebo, study participants who consumed 900 mg of proprietary spearmint extract for 90 days performed better in a battery of cognitive tests, which involved attention tests using finger tapping, symbol digit coding, and more.

They studied the efficacy of Neumentix, a branded peppermint extract manufactured and commercialized by Kemin, which also funded the study.

They found that supplementation with Neumentix led to an 11% increase in sustained attention performance as measured using the battery of tests at day 90 compared to baseline levels. In contrast, placebo supplemented participants demonstrated a 0.6% increase.

The results​ are available online, due for publication in the April 2019 edition of the journal Nutrition Research.

“This recent clinical study supports previous literature by demonstrating that Neumentix, a high-polyphenol extract, has the ability to improve focus in young, healthy adults,"​ said study co-author Jordan R. Moon, Ph.D., in an emailed statement. He is a faculty member at Concordia University Chicago and the United States Sports Academy.

Previous studies have linked the extract to enhanced reaction time, focus, and agility in hand-eye, Foot-eye coordination​, as well as boosting energy, alertness, and agility in elite military personnel​.

"The 11% improvement in sustained attention is an important cognitive benefit for a wide range of individuals, both at work and during recreational activities,”​ Dr Moon added about the present study.

Study details

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel study involved 142 generally healthy participants, both male and female, aged 18 to 50 years.

Randomization was stratified by age and sex so that when researchers divided participants into two groups (Neumentix and placebo), each would have similar numbers of young (18-35) and older (36-50) participants of both sexes.

Neumentix supplemented participants consumed the compound which contained around 14.5% rosmarinic acid and 24% phenolic content in capsule form. The placebo group digested microcrystalline cellulose in capsules similar to the Neumentix product.

During lab visits on days 7, 30, and 90 of the trial, participants conducted the battery of cognitive assessments (which measured processing speed, attention test, continuous performance test, and more), and filled out questionnaires to describe sleep, mood, and quality and life.

No significant differences were observed in mood, sleep, or quality of life, but the researchers added that “The current study demonstrates that chronic supplementation with 900 mg of proprietary spearmint extract improves cognitive performance in a young, active population, further supporting [Neumentix] as an efficacious nootropic.”

Source: Nutrition Research
Published online ahead of print,
The attention-enhancing effects of spearmint extract supplementation in healthy men and women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial
Authors: Paul H. Falcone, et al.

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