Study: Green Bioactives L- theanine and FOS blend can improve memory by 10%

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

© Hiroshi Watanabe / Getty Images
© Hiroshi Watanabe / Getty Images

Related tags Research Memory Cognitive health

Green Bioactives Limited (GBL), a tech firm focused on developing sustainable plant-based products, is celebrating the results of a clinical study demonstrating that its new L- theanine and FOS blend can improve memory by up to 10.1%.

The study, published in Food Science and Nutrition​, was conducted using GBL-Memory, the firm’s first nutraceutical product launched on the market in the UK and Germany.

Led by the late Gary Loake, a professor of molecular plant sciences at the University of Edinburgh and chief scientific officer at Green Bioactives, the study assessed improvements in directed memory, associate learning (associative memory), meaningless image recognition, graphic memory and portrait retrieval.

Dr. Clara Doran, senior clinical investigator at Scottish Brain Sciences, which delivers clinical trials on brain health products, gave her independent thoughts of the trial: “This paper shows encouraging outcomes for the combination of these two plant-based ingredients, L- theanine and FOS. In today’s fast-paced and multi-tasking world, there is a great need in finding accessible and natural ways to improve memory, recall and productivity in healthy adults, and future research regarding these products could help multiple populations, including geriatrics and women suffering from brain fog in menopause.”

GBL-Memory1 will first launch in Germany under the name Memocentrix in May and will be available in the UK starting in June.

Cognitive health

The prevalence of cognitive impairment, including mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia, increases with age, with the risk doubling every five years after the age of 65.

Morinda officinalis​ has been used in both food and medicine for thousands of years and in traditional Chinese medicine to delay aging and function as an antidepressant.

FOS (Fructooligosaccharides), the natural prebiotic derived from Morinda officinalis​ and used in GBL-Memory1, has been studied extensively for its therapeutic effects on the gastrointestinal, immune, neurological, dermal and cardiovascular disorders.

FOS can modulate the gut microbiome via the gut-brain-axis​ and impact the hippocampus, a part of the brain which is crucial for learning and memory.

The amino acid L-theanine has been shown to influence the level of brain chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin, which are linked to mood, motivation and well-being.

It has also been shown to enhance the cortex, the part of the brain which is involved in complex cognitive behaviour, decision making, and personality expression. Enhancement of the cortex has been shown to lead to better problem-solving skills​ and more effective cognitive performance.

The study

A total of 120 healthy participants (30 to 65 years) were recruited and divided into two groups with half taking GBL-Memory (total daily dosage of 0.4 g L-theanine and 0.2 g FOS) and half taking a placebo over a 30-day period.

The researchers used the Clinical Memory Scale to assess memory before and after the trial period.

Resulting data revealed significant improvements in memory observed in the supplement group.

The authors concluded Fructooligosaccharide (FOS) and L-theanine might together target additional pathways that neither FOS nor L-theanine alone can impact.

"In our study, we combined FOS and L-theanine to assess their potential additive function on human cognition and memory," the report stated. "Our data uncovered a novel, synergistic interaction between these two components with respect to a significant enhancement of cognition and memory in well-established animal models and more significantly, during a human trial utilizing healthy individuals.

"Our data showing FOS and L-theanine act synergistically imply these molecules might function in combination on one or more cognitive signaling pathways increasing the magnitude of signal output to a level greater than the sum of their individual contributions."

Dr. Yuan Li, research lead at Green Bioactives and co-author on the study, concluded: “GBL-Memory1 represents a significant advancement in the realm of cognitive enhancement, offering a natural and effective solution for individuals looking to optimise their brain health and cognitive performance.”

The authors noted it would be interesting to examine whether a longer, perhaps six month, administration period might increase the long-term enhancement effect of MT-01 on memory. Additionally, they said it will be important to establish the molecular mechanism(s) underpinning the synergistic function of FOS and L-theanine on human cognition and memory.

Source: Food Science and Nutrition
doi: 10.1002/fsn3.4145
“Improvement of both human and animal memory by synergy between Fructooligosaccharides ​and L-theanine function establishing a safe and effective food supplement”
Authors: Yuan Li et al.

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