Acute effects of an Avena sativa herb extract on responses to the Stroop Color-Word test

J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Jul;17(7):635-7. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0450.


Background and aims: Extracts from oat (Avena sativa) herb may benefit cognitive performance. This study investigated whether Neuravena(®), an oat herb extract, could acutely improve responses to the Stroop Color-Word test, a measure of attention and concentration and the ability to maintain task focus.

Subjects and methods: Elderly volunteers with below-average cognitive performance consumed single doses (0, 1600, and 2400 mg) of oat herb extract at weekly intervals in a double-blind, randomized, crossover comparison. Resting blood pressure (BP) was assessed before and after supplementation, and a Stroop test was performed.

Results: Significantly fewer errors were made during the color-naming component of the Stroop test after consuming the 1600-mg dose than after the 0-mg or 2400-mg doses (F (1,36)=18.85, p<0.001). In 7 subjects with suspected cognitive impairment, Stroop interference score was also improved by the 1600-mg dose compared to 0- and 2400-mg doses (F (1, 34)=2.40, p<0.01). Resting BP was unaffected by supplementation.

Conclusions: Taking 1600 mg of oat herb extract may acutely improve attention and concentration and the ability to maintain task focus in older adults with differing levels of cognitive status.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Avena*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Cognition Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Components, Aerial
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Stroop Test


  • Plant Extracts