PLT Health Solutions has launched a new botanical ingredient, branded as Nutricog, which has been evidenced to improve measures of several cognitive domains. The combination of Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) is standardised to gallic acid, ellagic acid, and amyrins.
In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, users of Nutricog demonstrated significant improvements compared to placebo when tested in areas including learning, memory, sustained attention, working memory, and accuracy while multitasking. Statistically significant improvements in scores were achieved by day 15 of the study period.
In the study, 100 healthy male and female participants between the ages of 40 and 65 were administered either Nutricog or a placebo for 120 days and assessed for any changes in cognition via the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), and the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). The participants were also assessed with the Athens Insomnia Scale and were tested for the biomarker brain-derived neurotrophic factor, the expression of which is associated with neuronal survival, neuronal plasticity, learning, and memory.
Memory effects were assessed with both RAVLT and CANTAB. Immediate recall is a test of short-term memory, which includes information for immediate use, such as remembering a telephone number long enough to dial it. Delayed recall is a test of episodic memory, or the memory of everyday events. Recognition memory is a specific type of episodic memory that utilises familiarity to make connections in fractions of a second.
Compared to placebo, Nutricog users had a 40% improvement in immediate recall scores, a 130% improvement in delayed recall scores, and a 110% improvement in recognition scores over baseline for the 120-day study. Subjects taking Nutricog also had improvements in visual episodic memory in CANTAB testing.
According to RAVLT results, Nutricog users had a 1.6-times improvement in total learning and a 2.7-times improvement in learning rate scores over baseline. Total learning scores reflected the ability to learn with repeated exposure, while learning rate reflected the speed and effectiveness of acquiring new information.
Focus, attention, and concentration
Proactive interference (PAI) refers to the reduction in memory performance for recently acquired information as a result of prior learning of related materials, and has been shown to play an important role in forgetting. It reflects performance related to working memory and attentional focus. Trial subjects using Nutricog began to show improvement in proactive interference scores starting at 15 days, and had an 11.5-fold improvement in PAI scores by the end of the study duration.
Speed and accuracy
The speed-accuracy tradeoff describes the tendency for improvements in cognitive performance in speed to be offset by reductions in accuracy, and vice-versa. In several CANTAB tests performed, subjects showed significantly improved speed of performance without a reduction in accuracy. This effect was particularly evident on tests of non-verbal, visual memory and multitasking.
Consumers are seeking cognitive support solutions and consider it to be a quality of life issue, according to Seth Flowerman, President and CEO of PLT Health Solutions.
“Today, we are seeing rapidly increasing interest in cognitive support for a broad range of lifestyle goals. Consumers are actively seeking everything from enhanced focus to reduced stress, improved mood, faster learning, effective memory, better adaptability, and enhanced multitasking. At PLT, we're very excited to be introducing Nutricog to the market after more than five years in development. We are very proud of the strength of our clinical data to support messaging related to these consumer needs,” he said. "Nutricog also checks many boxes consumers want in an ingredient today. It's completely novel and botanical. It's experiential, with significant benefits occurring within fifteen days. It's effective at a relatively low dose, making compliance easier, and it is sustainably, traceably grown and manufactured.”
Given the wide array of cognitive benefits, Nutricog is compatible for several different product positionings, said Jennifer Murphy, MS, RD, director of innovation and clinical development for PLT Health Solutions.
“With Nutricog, we see products for improved memory or faster learning as natural landing spots because of the impressive benefits it offers in these areas. At the same time, improvements in overall cognitive performance combined with significant increases in peripheral BDNF suggest Nutricog may offer support for positive structural changes in the brain, and Nutricog represents a new ingredient on the cognitive health landscape that can stand alone as a hero ingredient and attract consumers," she said. "The power of these clinical results is not just that Nutricog showed significance in such a broad array of areas, but that the amount of change versus placebo that was demonstrated."