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Attention

The ability to keep focus on chosen targets, the clinical lack of attention is ADD (or ADHD if hyperactivity exists); Attention and/or Focus may be affected by supplements listed on this page.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Feb 6, 2013
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect attention
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b - High See all 3 studies
There is unlikely to be an inherent effect of bacopa on attention, although at least one study noted improvements in attention in persons with attention deficit (ADD).
grade-b - Very High See all 3 studies
In assessing the effects of cocoa on mood states, attention does not appear to be significantly altered when compared to placebo.
grade-b - Very High See all 5 studies
Attentional focus and similar parameters (task switching) do not appear to be significantly influenced by ginkgo supplementation.
grade-c Notable - See study
A single study that used 200 mg of Suntheanine® observed a notable improvement in attentional task performance in subjects with high anxiety, whereas subjects with low anxiety didn't see a notable improvement.
grade-c Minor - See study
There appear to be attention promoting effects of CDP-Choline, with the one study in adult women noting that 250-500mg was effective but 250mg was more effective.
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in attention has been noted which may be secondary to the treatment of anxiety (or the reductions in stress and depression that also occured due to treating anxiety).
grade-c Minor - See study
There was an increase in sustained attention during cognitive testing in otherwise healthy subjects given 2.1g D-serine prior to testing, as assessed by CPT-IP.
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
An increase in attention has been noted to be secondary to reductions in the symptoms of chronic fatigue
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
There appears to be somewhat of an increase in subjective attention with modafinil secondary to its arousal promoting effects
grade-c Minor - See study
Attention processing on trail making tests appears to be increased.
grade-c Minor - See study
The improvement in attention is associated with reducing the symptoms of attention deficit, an increase in attention outright has not yet been demonstrated
grade-c Minor - See study
An improvement in attention has been noted, possibly secondary to improvements in general cognition, in students during prolonged academic testing
grade-c - - See study
No effect on attention during sleep deprivation.
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
Fish oil supplementation in otherwise healthy adults has failed to significantly influence attention processing
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
Tolerant users do not experience any attention reduction when inhaling marijuana.
grade-c - - See study
Despite the reduction in alertness, no significant influence on sustained attention tests
grade-c - - See study
Despite the decrease in alertness seen with lemon balm, there does not appear to be any alterations in intentional attention
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on attention processing in older women in a postmenopausal state with supplementation of red clover isoflavones.
grade-c - - See study
No significant influences on attention
grade-c - - See study
No significant alterations in attention in persons given SAMe in conjunction with their SSRI antidepressant medication
grade-d Minor Very High See 2 studies
Studies suggest an improvement in people cognitive impairment or bipolar disorder with the use of ashwagandha root extract.
grade-d Minor Moderate See 2 studies
Although there is no influence acutely in cognitive testing, there appears to be improvements in sustained attention processing with prolonged testing (10-40 minutes) with the aroma of peppermint. Suggesting an anti-fatigue effect.
grade-d Minor - See study
Small boost in attention in menopausal women (independent of reductions in symptoms of menopause); needs to be reinvestigated
grade-d - - See study
No significant influence on attention in otherwise healthy persons