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.