The Life Sciences Research Organization, Inc. (LSRO) has published a review article in the December 2010 issue of Nutrition Reviews entitled Do Specific Constituents and Supplements Affect Mental Energy? Review of the Evidence.
The marketplace abounds with claims that various foods, beverages, and dietary supplements increase mental energy. LSRO has undertaken a review of the scientific evidence for more than 35 food ingredients, dietary supplements, dietary constituents, and dietary factors and any measure of mental energy that could support these claims. Mental energy was defined as consisting of mood (transient feelings about the presence of fatigue or energy), motivation (determination and enthusiasm), and cognition (sustained attention and vigilance).
The review article focuses on four dietary constituents/supplements: Ginkgo biloba, ginseng, glucose, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) to illustrate the current state of the peer-reviewed scientific literature on dietary constituents and mental energy. The strongest evidence, other than that for caffeine, suggests effects of Ginkgo biloba on certain aspects of mood and attention in healthy subjects, as well as associations between omega-3 PUFA and reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline.
Among the key findings of the review are:
‧ Until recently, mental energy has been only loosely defined and methods to assess it were not clearly described.
‧ For most ingredients and dietary factors fewer than 5 scientific studies address mental energy.
‧ Other than caffeine, the strongest evidence suggests Gingko biloba affects mood and attention and omega-3 PUFA may reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
For nearly half a century, the Life Sciences Research Organization (LSRO) has provided expert, objective scientific opinions and evaluations to governmental agencies and leading corporations in the food, health and bioscience sectors. A non-profit organization originally established in 1962, LSRO provides independent science-based analysis and advice that has proven integral to the development of sound policies and regulations on the national and international level.
This study will be of interest to academic, government, and industry researchers, public health organizations and their staff. The report will also be of interest to the general public.