French botanicals supplier Naturex has launched a new extract of American ginseng that has been shown in tests to have a "significant positive impact on mental function."

Naturex says the ingredient, called Cereboost, contains a "specific profile of ginsenosides", the active ingredient in ginseng, which is patent pending.

In a clinical study conducted at Swinburne University's Brain Science Institute in Melbourne, Australia, subjects taking 200mg a day of the ingredient were shown to have improved levels of alertness and memory performance over those who took a placebo. The study is yet to be published.

Naturex, which is based in Avignon, suggests that Cereboost should be marketed with the claim: "Enhances cognitive function by improving working memory and favouring attention." The ingredient is said to be suitable for incorporation into foods, beverages and dietary supplements.