Data published in Nutritional Neuroscience indicated that a single dose of a combination of green tea extract, rhodiola, magnesium, and B vitamins led to an induction of a relaxed, attentive state, and a reduction in subjective stress and anxiety under acute stress.
A follow-on analysis published in Frontiers in Nutrition found that the supplement combination was associated with increased theta activity in the brain, as measured by EEG analysis. This supports an improved attentional capacity for the study’s participants.
“Mg, B vitamins, rhodiola and green tea extracts therefore represents a promising combination of ingredients that may enhance coping capacity and offer protection from the negative effects of stress exposure that is worthy of further investigation,” wrote researchers from the University of Leeds in the UK.
“If confirmed, there is a significant practical benefit of a non-pharmaceutical method of reducing the negative impact of stress considering the associated profound detriment to the quality of life of individuals and substantial social and economic societal costs.”
The benefits observed in this study suggest the combined formulation may also have potential for office workers and for competitors in esports, although these would need to be evaluated in carefully designed trials.
The study also evaluated different combinations of the ingredients but found that the greatest benefits were observed for the full combination of green tea extract plus rhodiola (Teadiola) plus magnesium and vitamins B6, B9, and B12.
The researchers recruited 100 moderately stressed adults to participate in their double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, parallel group study. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups and received a single dose of: Green tea plus rhodiola, magnesium plus the B vitamins; rhodiola plus magnesium and the B vitamins; green tea plus magnesium and the B vitamins; or placebo. Green tea and rhodiola were administered as capsules, while the magnesium plys B vitamins were administered as a tablet.
The doses used were: 125 mg of green tea extract containing 50 mg of L-theanine; 222 mg of the rhodiola extract; 150 mg of elemental magnesium, and 0.7 mg of B6, 0.1 mg of B9, and 0.00125 mg of B12.
The results showed that, according to results of the Trier Social Stress Test, participants in group one (the full supplement) showed significantly increased electroencephalogram (EEG) measures “indicative of a relaxed, alert state, attenuated subjective stress, anxiety and mood disturbance, and heightened subjective and autonomic arousal”, said the researchers in Nutritional Neuroscience.
The data also indicated that group one also experienced “superior in the attenuation of stress perception across the later recovery profile and up to 7 h post stress, and offered protection from negative mood disturbance, reduced subjective anxiety, and heightened subjective energetic arousal and alertness between 2 and 7 h after stress exposure.”
The Leeds-based scientists then analyzed the effects on spectral brain activity by measuring spectral alpha and theta brain activity and event related potentials (ERPs) recorded using EEG (electroencephalogram).
Writing in Frontiers in Nutrition, they noted that combined supplement increased spectral theta brain activity during the execution of two attentional tasks suggestive.
According to Jirakittayakorn and Wongsawat, theta activity is “associated with the behavioral states of alertness, attention, orientation, and working memory including the enhancement of cognitive and perceptual performances”.
The Leeds-based researchers called for additional study of the formulation to potentially enhance behavioral performance under stressful conditions.
2021, Published online ahead of print, doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/1028415X.2021.1909204
“A combination of green tea, rhodiola, magnesium and B vitamins modulates brain activity and protects against the effects of induced social stress in healthy volunteers”
Authors: N.B. Boyle et al.
Frontiers in Nutrition
2022, Published online, https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2022.935001
“A Combination of Green Tea, Rhodiola, Magnesium, and B Vitamins Increases Electroencephalogram Theta Activity During Attentional Task Performance Under Conditions of Induced Social Stress”
Authors: N.B. Boyle et al.