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Article

Acute and Chronic Effects of Green Oat (Avena sativa) Extract on Cognitive Function and Mood during a Laboratory Stressor in Healthy Adults: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study in Healthy Humans

1
Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 8ST, UK
2
Anklam Extrakt GmbH, Marienbergstr. 92, 90411 Nuremberg, Germany
3
Research Group Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, UCL School of Pharmacy, London WC1N 1AX, UK
4
NUTRAN, Northumbria University, Newcastle NE1 8ST, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1598; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061598
Received: 24 March 2020 / Revised: 11 May 2020 / Accepted: 26 May 2020 / Published: 29 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Phytochemicals on Health Benefit)
Green oat (Avena sativa) extracts contain several groups of potentially psychoactive phytochemicals. Previous research has demonstrated improvements in cognitive function following a single dose of these extracts, but not following chronic supplementation. Additionally, whilst green oat extracts contain phytochemicals that may improve mood or protect against stress, for instance species-specific triterpene saponins, to date this possibility has not been examined. The current study investigated the effects of a single dose and four weeks of administration of a novel, Avena sativa herbal extract (cognitaven®) on cognitive function and mood, and changes in psychological state during a laboratory stressor. The study adopted a dose-ranging, double-blind, randomised, parallel groups design in which 132 healthy males and females (35 to 65 years) received either 430 mg, 860 mg, 1290 mg green oat extract or placebo for 29 days. Assessments of cognitive function, mood and changes in psychological state during a laboratory stressor (Observed Multitasking Stressor) were undertaken pre-dose and at 2 h and 4 h post-dose on the first (Day 1) and last days (Day 29) of supplementation. The results showed that both a single dose of 1290 mg and, to a greater extent, supplementation for four weeks with both 430 mg and 1290 mg green oat extract resulted in significantly improved performance on a computerised version of the Corsi Blocks working memory task and a multitasking task (verbal serial subtractions and computerised tracking) in comparison to placebo. After four weeks, the highest dose also decreased the physiological response to the stressor in terms of electrodermal activity. There were no treatment-related effects on mood. These results confirm the acute cognitive effects of Avena sativa extracts and are the first to demonstrate that chronic supplementation can benefit cognitive function and modulate the physiological response to a stressor. View Full-Text
Keywords: cognition; working memory; brain; stress; phytochemicals; polyphenols; triterpenes; Avena sativa; green oat extract cognition; working memory; brain; stress; phytochemicals; polyphenols; triterpenes; Avena sativa; green oat extract
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kennedy, D.O.; Bonnländer, B.; Lang, S.C.; Pischel, I.; Forster, J.; Khan, J.; Jackson, P.A.; Wightman, E.L. Acute and Chronic Effects of Green Oat (Avena sativa) Extract on Cognitive Function and Mood during a Laboratory Stressor in Healthy Adults: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study in Healthy Humans. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1598. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061598

AMA Style

Kennedy DO, Bonnländer B, Lang SC, Pischel I, Forster J, Khan J, Jackson PA, Wightman EL. Acute and Chronic Effects of Green Oat (Avena sativa) Extract on Cognitive Function and Mood during a Laboratory Stressor in Healthy Adults: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study in Healthy Humans. Nutrients. 2020; 12(6):1598. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061598

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kennedy, David O., Bernd Bonnländer, Stefanie C. Lang, Ivo Pischel, Joanne Forster, Julie Khan, Philippa A. Jackson, and Emma L. Wightman 2020. "Acute and Chronic Effects of Green Oat (Avena sativa) Extract on Cognitive Function and Mood during a Laboratory Stressor in Healthy Adults: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study in Healthy Humans" Nutrients 12, no. 6: 1598. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061598

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