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P. 16-19 /

Animal and human efficacy data of a brain active oregano extract


*Corresponding author
DSM Nutritional Products, P.O. Box 2676, 4002 Basel, Switzerland


It is commonly accepted that foods and food components may affect body and brain functions influencing mental performances such as mood, vigilance or memory. Various neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline are implicated in the regulation of these functions. In particular, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are shown to elevate mood in depressive people. Depression has a negative social perception. Moreover, antidepressant treatments tend to cause severe side effects and patients tend to develop resistance to such medications. Therefore, consumers are inclined to accept nutritional means to boost their mental wellbeing.
We discuss here the discovery, mode of action and efficacy of a proprietary Oregano Extract (OE) to elevate mood, concentration and mental wellbeing. We show that OE is (i) a triple re-uptake inhibitor for monoamine neurotransmitters, (ii) is brain active, (iii) increases serotonin levels in the brain, (iv) improves animal behaviours in tests validated for anti-depressive conditions, (v) its acute supplementation may lift mood and increase the level of calmness, vigilance and mental information processing capacity in young, healthy men.


Our diets are largely determined by the perceived palatability as well as the availability of different foods and must provide the fuel required by the energy-requiring processes that sustain life. But our diets must provide more to the human organism than just fuel for energy production. Our food must contain a range of different nutrients that provide comprehensive and broad range nourishment for growth and metabolism. A healthy balanced diet is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing and health (1). Most of us accept that how we feel at a given time is likely to influence what we select to eat or drink, if given a choice. It is now becoming increasingly apparent that on the other hand what we eat can affect our mental functioning, state of mind and mood. For foods that can have such an impact, the term Mood Foods has been coined. However, this link is poorly investigated empirically.
Foods constituents can evoke their response at a purely psychological level by appealing to the senses and unlocking half-forgotten memories and unfulfilled dreams. Aromas, textures, the visual stimuli of colour, presentation and ambience all ...

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