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Research Program

At Staterra Inc., our research areas are driven by our core beliefs in developing effective products that are good for the entire body while addressing the unique requirements of the individual or activity.

Current Research

Effect of dietary constituents on cognitive performance in healthy adults:

A Randomized, Double-Blind,

Controlled, Crossover Trial.

Introduction

In recent years, healthy adults are exposed to high demand cognitive activities such as workload stress, demanding schedules, and continuous multitasking on a frequent basis.  These demanding cognitive activities can lead to decline in performance, as well as difficulties maintaining attention, motivation, and focus. There is increased interest in safe and effective methods to improving cognitive performance. The right natural health product supplementation, such as MindGain, can be a realistic and natural way to improve cognitive performance during demanding cognitive activities.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of a natural health product called MindGain on various cognitive performance measurement in a group of healthy adults following repetitive cognitive testing.

Design + Date + Location

Principal Investigator: Dr. Delphie Dugal-Tessier, Staterra Inc.

Design: A 3-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial to evaluate both the acute and loading efficacy of a self-described cognitive enhancing nutritional supplement, MindGain, on mental performance during repetitive cognitive testing.

State of project: We are currently recruiting participants! Click here: study.staterra.ca

Location: The study is exclusively online for those residing in Canada.

Procedure

Interested individual will be invited to complete an online screening questionnaire.  Eligible individual will then be invited to book a 15-min screening phone interview.  Those individuals who are still eligible to participate will be asked to sign a consent form and will be randomized into the trial.  The study consists of 4-testing sessions of approximately 2h30.  Please read the consent form for all information on the protocol (LINK COMING SOON).

Who can participate?

You are eligible to participate in this study if you are:

  1. A healthy man or women 
  2. Aged 21-70 years, 
  3. Access to the internet and computer
  4. Willing to undergo a washout prior to enrollment if taking nootropic type supplements,  
  5. Participant must be capable and willing to provide consent, understand exclusion criteria, instructions and protocols
  6. To speak and to read English fluently

You cannot participate in this study if you are:

  1. Pregnant, planning to become pregnant during the study time, or breastfeeding
  2. Allergy/intolerance to any ingredient of the nutritional supplements
  3. Colour Blind
  4. Currently have or at risk of liver disease, kidney disease and/ or a seizure disorder, or any serious medical conditions with major medical interventions anticipated during the trial. 
  5. Any non-controlled medical condition which could influence results or could be worsened by the participation in the study. 
  6. Metabolic diseases such as diabetes
  7. Major medical or neurological illnesses
  8. Requiring treatment with a drug which might obscure the action of the study treatment
Potential Outcome

 This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study will evaluate both the acute and loading efficacy of a self-described cognitive enhancing nutritional supplement, MindGain, on cognitive performance during repetitive cognitive testing. The results of this study will permit us to determine whether the right dietary constituents are beneficial to enhance cognitive performance during repetitive cognitive tasks. Preventing stress induce cognitive impairment through natural health product supplementation can be a realistic and natural way to improve cognitive performance during repetitive cognitive testing.

Contact information

If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Delphie Dugal-Tessier at delphie@staterra.ca Include in the subject line: Cognitive performance study or click here (LINK COMING SOON) to compete the online screening questionnaire.

Other information

Funding source: Industrial Research Assistant Program (IRAP) grants.

Project Period: 11/2021-present 

REB: This research project has been cleared by National Research Council Canada Research Ethics Board (NRC-REB)-2021-113

Past Research

Introduction

Whether you participate in endurance or high intensity sports, the body can be depleted of essential nutrients. Without proper nutrition, physical exertion can lead to the lack of optimal performance.

Many athletes during physical activity will have nutritional needs above and beyond sedentary individuals, making it difficult to obtain the required nutrients through whole foods alone. 

Nutritional supplementation can be a great option to improve training and recovery.  However, many companies in the nutritional supplement industry offers bulk products to athletes without any regard for the differing metabolic requirements.  We went back to the beginning, we wanted to study what an individual actually needed during different types of exercise.  More specifically, in studying changes in molecules such as amino acid in amateur athletes. 

The cells in your body use the protein you eat to build the proteins they need to perform all the function of life.  Essentially, protein can be broken down in different amino acids. These amino acids can flow through the blood to keep the body happy; they make energy, eliminate waste, build muscles, and even help cells “talk” to each other.

We set out to determine changes in amino acids in the blood during different types of physical activity.  We used the technology of mass spectrometry, to examine changes in amino acids from dried blood samples of athletes at set intervals over the course of physical exertion.  This study was conducted in two-phases. 

Phase 1: During endurance type activity

Phase 2: During anaerobic and high intensity interval training

Phase 1 

Establishing the Amino Acid Kinetic Pattern of Endurance Runners

Purpose

The purpose of phase 1 was to determine the profile of amino acids in endurance runners during strenuous and long-distance training runs.

Population

Thirty-four male (15) and female (19) participants between 18-45 years of age (34.5 ± 6.7 years) performed an 18 km run on a 400 m track. Dried blood samples were collected before the trial, at 6, 12, and 18 km, and 30 min post recovery.  Fasted blood samples were also collected the morning of the trial and 24 hours later.  Dried blood samples were analysed by Carleton University for several amino acids through mass-spectrometry.

Results

During endurance type activity, such as endurance running showed similar changes in amino acids linked to various neuro-molecular pathways involved in stress responses.  Out of the 22-blood amino acid analysed in this phase 1, 5 showed significant and similar patterns: glutamic acid, taurine, phenylalanine, tryptophan and tyrosine.

Findings

The novel findings of this trial show that endurance activity triggers changes in amino acids and these changes have a specific profile that is statistically common amongst men and women and across the studied age range.  By analyzing the clusters of amino acids and their prominent role in neuro-molecular pathways, we identified significant kinetic patterns in neuro-molecular pathways related to stress process and cognitive functioning, such as neurotransmitter metabolism (Tyrosine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and glutamic acid), and mitochondrial metabolism (Taurine, glutamic acid).

Other information

Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Delphie Dugal-Tessier, Staterra Inc., and Dr. Jeffrey C. Smith, Carleton University

REB: This research project has been cleared by Carleton University Research Ethics Board- CUREB-B #106688

Funding source: National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)-Engage and Voucher for Innovation and Productivity-Ontario Centres of Excellence (VIP-OCE) and Industrial Research Assistant Program (IRAP) grants. 

Project Period: 05/2017 – 12/2018

Phase 2

Establishing an amino acid kinetic pattern in anaerobic and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in a sport dependent manner.

Purpose

The purpose of phase 2 is to determine the kinetic profile of amino acids during High Intensity Interval Training sessions, which utilizes a combination of anaerobic and aerobic energy systems, as well as establishing whether there is a blood amino acid response to a purely anaerobic activity.  Using the mass-spectrometry method, validated by the NRC, we determined the kinetic pattern of each amino acid during anaerobic and HIIT activity, thus permitting to appropriately supplement athletes based on the unique metabolic demands of different physical activity. 

Population

Thirty-nine male (17) and female (22) participants between 18-45 years of age (31.4 ± 6.7 years) performed an a no equipment body-weight movement a consecutive anaerobic and HIIT trial.  Fasted blood samples were collected the morning of the trial and 24 hours later, as well as after the anaerobic activity, before HIIT, during HIIT, after HIIT, and 30 min post recovery.   Dried blood samples were analysed by the NRC for several amino acids through mass-spectrometry.  

Results

During anaerobic and HIIT type activity, similar to phase 1, we observed changes in amino acids linked to various neuro-molecular pathways involved in stress responses, such as:  taurine, phenylalanine, and tyrosine. We also observed changes in amino acids in glucogenic amino acids such as glutamine and glycine. As well as in the branched chained amino acids, and the ketogenic amino acid lysine.

Findings

We found some interesting similarities and differences between both phases. One noticeable similarity between both phases is significant changes in the glycogenic amino acids such as alanine, and arginine.  These similarities are not surprising since alanine is an amino acid that is degraded during physical activity to supply glucose to muscles. We also observed differences between both phases regarding several amino acid kinetic patterns.  One stark difference between trials is with the glucogenic amino acids, glutamine and glycine, and the branched-chained amino acids, leucine and isoleucine.

Other information

Principal Investigator: Dr. Delphie Dugal-Tessier, Staterra Inc

REB: This research project has been cleared by National Research Council Canada Research Ethics Board (NRC-REB)-2018-153

Funding source: Industrial Research Assistant Program (IRAP) grants.

Project Period: 02/2019  -03/2021

Conclusion

This 2-phase project has shown to be extremely successful; we have shown that across different type of exercise mode, average concentration of amino acids that belongs to energy, neurotransmitter, and nitrogen metabolisms show specific patterns.  This data is useful to supplement intermediate athletes in a sport specific manner.  See our supplementation recommendations based on your type of physical activity (https://staterra.ca/ourshop/)

The big finding of these 2-phase study is that we unravelled stress dependent responses related to cognition, especially in the energy and neurotransmitter metabolism stress pathways. These novel findings have led to the development and commercialization of the Health Canada approved nootropic product called MindGain.  See current research for more information.  

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