Use ginger, think faster
If you have to think too long to remember someone's name, or you find that making simple decisions takes a tedious amount of time, you may benefit from ginger supplementation. Thai researchers at Khon Kaen University gave ginger extract supplements to women aged 50-60, and found that these allowed the women to recall data from their memory faster and make decisions more quickly.
The researchers divided 60 women into 3 groups. For 2 months, one group took a placebo daily with no active ingredients, while the second and third group used a supplement with 400 or 800 milligrams of ginger extract, respectively.
The researchers used an alcohol-based extract containing 7.3 percent from 6-gingerol and 1.3 percent from 6-shogaol.
The researchers tested the women's memory functioning before and after the 2 months. They showed the subjects 15 words on a screen and asked the women to memorize them. A short time later, the women were shown those words again, plus another 15 other words, in a random order.
The women had to press a button when they saw a word flash past that they recognized.
The supplement shortened the time it took women to recognize the words. It also caused the women to make fewer mistakes.
In another test, the women sat in front of a screen where they saw the words "yes" or "no" appear one after the other in a random order. If they saw 'yes', they had to press a 'yes' button as soon as possible, if they saw 'no', they had to press a 'no' button as soon as possible.
Ginger supplementation increased the reaction speed in this test, as well as reducing the number of mistakes the women made.
"Our data reveal that Zingiber officinale extract is a potential brain tonic to enhance cognitive function for middle-age women", write the researchers. "However, further study about the precise underlying mechanism [...] should be performed."
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:383062.
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