Mango leaf extract shows wide-ranging brain benefits

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | Madelein wolf
Getty | Madelein wolf

Related tags botanical Cognitive function mango

A single dose of the mango leaf extract Zynamite can boost a wide range of brain functions for at least five hours, according to a new double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study.

Extracts made from the leaves of the mango food plant (Mangifera indica L., Anacardiaceae) have a long history of medicinal usage. Literature demonstrating functional benefits following polyphenol consumption, and previous rodent​ and pilot human studies​, suggest that a mango leaf extract with high levels of the polyphenol mangiferin may exert beneficial effects on human brain function, including the enhancement of cognitive function. 

The current study, published in Nutrients,​ investigated the effects of a single dose of mango leaf extract, standardised to contain >60% mangiferin (Zynamite), on cognitive function and mood - making it the first concerted investigation into the effects of mangiferin on human cognitive function.

Led by senior author Professor David Kennedy, Director of the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre at Northumbria University, the study adopted a double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over design in which 70 healthy young adults (18 to 45 years) received 300 mg Zynamite and a matched placebo, on separate occasions, separated by at least 7 days.

The team assessed the participants' cognitive function and mood before they took the day’s treatment to establish their baseline performance and then they repeated the assessment 30 min, 3 hours and 5 hours after consuming the treatments.

Using the COMPAS test​, the team measured different aspects of cognitive function - this provided composite scores that reflect the participants’ ability to concentrate, and the functioning of aspects of their memory.

The team was surprised to find that participants showed marked improvements in all aspects of cognitive function after one dose of the supplement. 

“The results were particularly pleasantly surprising because the benefits to accuracy were seen right across tasks – suggesting a very general boost to brain function,” ​said Prof Kennedy.

“Participants performed more accurately on the tasks that measure concentration and memory, and were better at performing each of the mentally demanding tasks than after the placebo – these benefits were also seen across the time they stayed in the laboratory after taking a single dose.

“Clearly better concentration and improved memory are going to be important to all sorts of everyday mental functions.”

Julia Wiebe, PhD., R&D Director at Nektium Pharma added that credibility of the results of the study are enhanced by the academic team involved.

“Professor Kennedy is one of the world's leading experts on the effects of botanicals and natural compounds on the CNS, and we are grateful to him and his excellent team at the Brain and Nutrition Research Centre, University of Northumbria for designing the clinical study protocol and for conducting the study,” ​she adds.

Nektium Pharma produced the Mangifera indica extract and sponsored the study.  However, no representative of Nektium Pharma had any role in the running of the study, or the analysis, or the interpretation of the data. 

Natural alternative to caffeine

Made by the Spanish nutracuticals firm Nektium, Zynamite is patented botanical extract clinically documented to provide significant sustained boosts to mental and physical performance.

Studies have shown Zynamite activates brain waves in almost identical pattern to caffeine – but using a different mechanism that doesn’t cause any of the side-effects caffeine does. 

The supplement is sourced by selectively pruning cultivated mango trees in the tropics meaning it is a by-product of mango production and is ecologically sustainable.


Source: Nutrients

Kennedy. D. O., et al

“Acute Effects of a Polyphenol-Rich Leaf Extract of Mangifera indica L. (Zynamite) on Cognitive Function in Healthy Adults: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study.”


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