Herb Improves Performance on College Exams

Hoboken, NJ—Nearly every student has dreamed of taking a pill that would help him or her get through exams a little easier. While there’s no substitute for hitting the books, a study has found a link between taking a branded supplement ingredient (Pycnogenol, distributed by Horphag Research) and improved test scores. Cognitive enhancers, says the research team, could benefit numerous individuals from the elderly to military personnel.

The study authors from Pescara University, located in Pescara, Italy, enrolled healthy students with average grades and similar IQs in a two-month trial to see whether the antioxidant (derived from the French maritime pine tree bark) could improve mental performance based on how they performed on university exams. Students were ages 18 through 27.  Fifty-three pupils received the supplement (100 mg/day) and an equivalent group took a placebo; the students’ marks were considered during weeks five through eight. 

All participants asked to get at least eight of sleep and go to bed before 10:30 p.m.; they also were asked to eat healthy meal, exercise, and given suggestions for how much time to study. Students were taking no other supplements or medications.

Overall, students taking the supplement had improved test scores. They only failed 6% of tests whereas the control group failed 11% of tests. Their average test scores were better, too.

The resulted were printed in Panminerva Medica.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, February 2012 (online 12/21/11)