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Green Oat Extract May Boost Cognitive Function and Memory

A recent study suggests that taking a wild green oat extract (also known as avena sativa) may help improve cognitive function — including speed of performance and episodic memory — in middle-aged adults. The researchers believe that further study may show that the extract could potentially be an alternative to caffeine.


Participants in the study included 45 people between the ages of 40 and 65 who were given a single dose of one of three treatments: a placebo, 800 mg of green oat extract, or 1600 mg of green oat extract. The researchers measured attention, spatial, working, episodic memory, and executive function in the participants before they were given the intervention and again at the one, two and a half, four, and six hour points after the dose.


The researchers found that the 800 mg of green oat extract was associated with increased speed of performance of a delayed word recall task in terms of errors and decreased thinking time. It was also associated with overall completion time of a functional task and working memory span. However, the improvement in working memory span was only noted after the second time the dose was taken.


Researchers from Northumbria University in the UK conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on November 30, 2015 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.


Previous studies suggest that wild green oat extract may help boost sexual libido in both men and women, reduce inflammation, and lower bad cholesterol. While wild oats can be eaten as food, if you’re taking them medicinally it’s probably best to take them in supplement form.

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