Stanford Student Believes Gum Holds Key To Energy Memory

Date: July 23, 2008
As seen on MSNBC.com.

A Stanford graduate student said he has discovered a secret to feeling more alert while boosting memory.

Bay Area college students swear that Think Gum helps them stay more alert and remember more when they're taking tests.

Daniel Rozenblatt has been an avid gum chewer since middle school and he said this gum is different.

"It helps me focus," he said. "Chewing gum has always helped me focus and I think maybe the added ingredient of caffeine is a little bit better than some of the other gums I've had."

He can thank Stanford graduate student Matt Davidson.

He came up with the idea after gum helped him get through tough molecular biology exams at Berkeley.

"So what I would do is buy peppermint gum and then put rosemary in my gum and chew it during exams and then I did pretty well," he said. "So after I graduated I thought this would be a great product for other students to help them in school."

Think Gum is sugar-free, and has a little caffeine along with some peppermint, guarana and Davidson said his research of the ingredients show they have memory boosting benefits.

"Gingko biloba can speed short-term working memory," he said.

But San Jose State nutrition professor Marjorie Freedman considers the memory boost claim a sticking point.

"One of the issues is how are these ingredients going to make it to the brain or the bloodstream where they might do some good," she said.

Davidson said the ingredient in Think Gum can provide benefits and he is planning clinical trials to prove it.

The gum has proved to be a hot seller at Stanford, especially during midterms and finals.

But now the sales have gone international and Davidson has had to place an order for a million more packets.

Research indicates that if you're exposed to peppermint while studying, then you are exposed to the same smell during an exam, it may trigger some memories from that study session.