Study finds natural supplements Guayusa tea and lion’s mane improve cognitive performance

In a recent article published in the journal nutrients, Researchers evaluated the effects of AmaTea® Max (AMT) and Nordic Lion’s Mane (LM) on subjective cognitive perception and objective cognitive performance.

study: Acute effects of natural guayusa tea and Nordic lion’s mane extracts on cognitive performance. Image source: photo_gonzo/Shutterstock.com

What are AMT and LM?

AMT is made from Guayusa tea extract, which grows naturally in parts of the upper Amazon basin and is generally considered safe for consumption (GRAS). AMT is composed of a variety of other compounds, including methylxanthines, phenols, chlorogenic acid, and terpenoids.

Guayusa tea is known for its stimulating and antioxidant properties. The caffeine content in these leaves enhances cognition and mood by blocking adenosine receptors in dopamine-rich areas of the brain, thereby increasing the brain’s alertness, activity, and processing potential. Likewise, the chlorogenic acids in guayusa tea can improve executive function and psychomotor speed; however, their mechanism of action is unclear.

LM is derived from edible fungi, Hericium, also a GRAS food. LM consists mainly of compounds with protective effects on cognition and often neuroprotection, such as phenols, β-glucan polysaccharides, sterols, and fungal nutrients.

A number of different compounds are present in Hericium It has been shown to prevent and delay neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). Hericium The compound also has neurotrophic and anticancer effects.

About the study

Each participant’s medical history and 24-hour dietary recall were discussed at the initial visit, and blood samples were collected. All study participants also underwent three sets of neuropsychological assessments, including the Seven-Seven, Go/No-go, and N-Back tasks, to assess their attention, memory, and decision-making abilities. All participants also avoided exercise and alcohol for 24 hours before, caffeine for 12 hours before, and completed an eight-hour fast before all testing.

During the second, third, and fourth testing visits, baseline testing was performed before acute supplementation and then subjective questionnaires were administered 60 and 120 minutes after ingestion of AMT or LM. In addition to undergoing three neuropsychological assessment tasks, all study participants were rated on the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and four Subjective Well-Being Scales (SHS).

The VAS assesses attention, mood, clarity of thinking, concentration, productivity, and ability to withstand stress, while the SHS assesses well-being, well-being compared with peers, ability to enjoy life, and unhappiness. Neuropsychological assessment assessed mental processing, reaction time, cognitive control, attention, vital signs, blood pressure (BP), and heart rate. Any changes in vital signs indicate underlying physiological changes related to supplementation.

Research result

The study involved 40 people aged between 18 and 50, including 22 women and 18 men. Study participants had a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 39.9 and were habitual coffee drinkers, with a moderate daily caffeine intake of 240 milligrams or less.

In the Go/No-go task, AMT shortened reaction times from baseline to stimulus response within the first hour. Maintain these reaction times for the second hour.

At the same time, LM also shortened the reaction time to stimulation at 120 min, indicating a delayed response to ingested supplements. Caffeine may have a positive effect on psychomotor tasks and preparatory attention required in go/no-go challenges.

In the Serial Sevens test, AMT had more errors than placebo at 60 minutes; however, this improved at 120 minutes. In comparison, in the N-Back test, AMT significantly improved accuracy and speed in the first and second hours.

In VAS, AMT significantly improved mental clarity, attention, focus, mood, and productivity 60 and 120 minutes after taking it. Cognitive responses were significantly enhanced with AMT supplementation compared with LM and PL at 60 and 120 min.

Due to the presence of bioactive compounds in AMT, such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and theanine, this supplement also has greater potential to deal with stress. However, it has no effect on subjective jitter. AMT significantly improved the ability to withstand pressure at 60 minutes. In SHS, LM affected the well-being scale at 60 minutes, while AMT affected the well-being scale at 120 minutes.

AMT increased SBP and DBP at 60 minutes and maintained higher values ​​at 120 minutes, while decreasing HR. All conditions were well tolerated, with reported adverse events being minimal and only mild.

in conclusion

AMT significantly improved cognitive performance and well-being within two hours of ingestion. In contrast, continuous ingestion of LM improved working memory, complex attention, reaction time, and well-being.

Future studies should utilize electroencephalography (EEG)-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to further understand the observed cognitive improvements associated with AMT and LM supplementation.

Journal reference:

  • Lamonica, MB, Laub, B., Ziegenfuss, EJ, et al. (2023). Acute effects of natural guayusa tea and Nordic lion’s mane extracts on cognitive performance. Nutrients 15. Number: 10.3390/nu15245018

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