Angelica extract plus ferulic acid may be ‘useful’ for mild cognitive impairment: Study

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© wildpixel / Getty Images
© wildpixel / Getty Images

Related tags: Cognition

A combination of ferulic acid and Angelica archangelica extract called Feru-guard may improve cognitive scores for older people with mild cognitive impairment, says a study from Japan.

Results of the multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospective trial found that participants taking Feru-guard for 48 weeks led to significantly better scores in Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores after 24 weeks, compared to the placebo group.

In addition, scores on the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale, Japanese version (ADAS-Jcog were also significantly better in the ferulic acid plus Angelica archangelica​ extract group at both 24 and 48 weeks, compared to placebo, according to results published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports.

“The current study demonstrated the clinical effectiveness of ferulic acid and ​A. archangelica extract on cognitive functioning among older adult individuals with MCI,”​ wrote researchers from Kudoh Clinic for Neurosurgery & Neurology (Tokyo), Moriyama Neurological Center Hospital (Tokyo), Shin-Yurigaoka General Hospital (Kawasaki), and Juntendo University (Tokyo).


Brain functioning is known to naturally decline as we age, and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a transitional state when small changes in memory and other mental abilities coexist with normal functioning.

Such declines in functions are often a warning sign of dementia – a term used to describe various different brain disorders that a progressive loss of brain functioning in common.

Study details

The study included 47 participants aged between 65 and 85 with MCI. They were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or Feru-guard 100 M (Glovia Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan), which consisted of ferulic acid (200 mg per day) and the A. archangelica​ extract (40 mg per day).

Results showed that, MMSE scores were better in the active group at 24 weeks, but the differences between the groups were no longer significant after 48 weeks.

On the other hand, significant improvements in ADAS-Jcog scores were observed after 24 and 48 weeks in the Feru-guard group, compared to placebo, with specific improvements observed for word recall at 24 weeks and orientation at 48 weeks.

Commenting on the potential mechanism(s) of action, the researchers noted that both ingredients – ferulic acid and Angelica archangelica​ extract – have potential to impact cognition, with ferulic acid reported to destabilize A-beta fibrils and inhibits A-beta aggregation, while decursin in Angelica offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

“It would be interesting to investigate whether [Feru-guard] can delay conversion from MCI to [Alzheimer’s Disease],” ​wrote the researchers.

Results of an open-label study published in 2014 with the same combination in MCI “suggested an annual conversion rate of approximately 8.35%”, said the researchers, while data from the North American cohort of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) found a conversion level of 18%, and the conversion in the Japanese ADNI was 29%.

“Thus, [Feru-guard] may delay the conversion from MCI to dementia. Further studies are required to confirm this,” ​they wrote.

Source: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports
2020; Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 393–398, doi: 10.3233/ADR-200211
“Effects of Ferulic Acid and ​Angelica archangelica Extract (Feru-guard ) on Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Prospective Trial”
Authors: C. Kudoh et al.

Related topics: Research, Botanicals, Cognitive function

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