Oregano extract improves mood, concentration

This is the first evidence of efficacy in humans, including bioavailability of the active components and rapid effects on specific brain functions.

DSM Nutritional Products is pleased to report that findings from a recent clinical study presented at the International Society of Neuroscience conference in New Orleans suggest that active compounds found in oregano may help to regulate mood, motivation and mental wellbeing in healthy male adults. The study was conducted at Forenap Pharma in France and funded by DSM.

A popular Mediterranean herb, oregano, is primarily used for its flavourful leaves. oréVida™, the proprietary oregano extract used in the study, contains a specific ratio of carvacrol and thymoquinone, two active components naturally found in oregano. oréVida is a product of DSM Nutritional Products.

“This data provides important insight into the mode of action of oréVida, a proprietary oregano extract,” said Dr. Hasan Mohajeri, a DSM neuroscientist leading the research. “In addition to preclinical evidence, we now have the first evidence of efficacy in humans, including bioavailability of the active components and the rapid effects on specific brain functions.”

In the placebo controlled, cross-over clinical study, 20 healthy young men ages 18 to 45 were administered capsules containing different intakes (30 mg, 60 mg and 120 mg) of the oregano extract twice a day, for five days. The researchers used an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure the resulting changes in the energy of different brainwaves. They observed an increase in alpha-1 brainwaves associated with relaxation, improved learning and concentration, and decreased anxiety.

They also observed more pronounced beta-1 brainwaves associated with an increased state of alertness and cognitive processing. Based on the outcomes observed, researchers believe this specific oregano extract may help to regulate mood, motivation and mental wellbeing. First published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the full study is available online at Br J Nutr. 2011 Apr;105(8):1150-63. Epub 2010 Dec 21.

Researchers at DSM Nutritional Products developed oreVida after identifying compounds in the oregano that are active in the brain and may influence brain activity by increasing availability of three key neurotransmitters—serotonin, noradrenalin and dopamine. oreVida is one of several promising ingredients covering a range of important health benefits in the DSM innovation pipeline.

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