The University of Auckland
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HVN1921b Metadata Record - The effect of supplementation with a blackcurrant drink containing L-theanine and pine bark extract in supporting cognitive performance in healthy older adults

posted on 2024-01-16, 04:14 authored by Dominic Lomiwes

This metadata record and it's attached files make statements about the kinds of data collected as part of this research, and set out policies for governance of that data, now and in the future.

Description: There is increasing evidence supporting the benefits of anthocyanin-rich blackcurrants on mood and cognition. Randomised placebo-controlled human studies have reported that consuming a single standardised dose of blackcurrants reduced the decline in reaction time during cognitive fatigue and supported a more positive affective response and reduced perceived exertion during a moderate walking exercise. Improvements in cognition following blackcurrant consumption also corresponded with distinct changes in spectral wavelengths measured by electroencephalogram (EEG), indicating increased attention and reduced anxiety in those who consumed blackcurrants during cognitive challenges. Analysis of biological samples from these studies indicate that blackcurrant constituents may regulate the concentrations of neurotransmitters essential for cognitive function and mood. Consuming a single dose of blackcurrants was observed to significantly inhibit peripheral monoamine oxidase (MAO)-B activity within 15 minutes. This effect was observed to last for at least 4 h following blackcurrant consumption. Acute blackcurrant consumption also led to a reduction in dihydroxyphenylglycine, a known marker of MAO-A enzyme inhibition. Aside from MAO-inhibitory effects, blackcurrant consumption has also been reported to lead to reduced prolactin levels, which may reflect increased central dopamine concentrations.

Studies investigating the benefits of blackcurrants on cognitive function have been limited to characterising their benefits after consuming a single dose in healthy adult populations (mean age approx. 25 years). Whether longer-term blackcurrant supplementation leads to further augmentation in cognitive performance in healthy, elderly populations (55+) warrants further investigation. There is evidence from literature for the efficacy of long-term supplementation with other anthocyanin-rich foods in enhancing measures of cognitive function in elderly populations, including those at risk of dementia. In this project, we will investigate the benefits of acute and long-term consumption of a commercial blackcurrant nootropic beverage containing L-theanine and pine bark extract in supporting the cognitive function and mood of healthy elderly individuals in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.



University of Auckland

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HVN Project / Programme Name


Data access requirements

No individual participant data for this trial will be available. This work is partly industry funded and publicly disclosing individual participant data will violate our confidentiality agreement to protect the intellectual property generated from this study. Furthermore, ethics guidelines for human clinical studies do not allow us to release data that may risk the disclosure of the identity of participants who took part in this study.

Principal investigator organisation

Plant and Food Research

Collaborating researchers and affiliations

Principal Investigator: Dr Dominic Lomiwes, Science Team Leader, Plant and Food Research, Palmerston North Investigators: Dr Odette Shaw (Plant and Food Research), Dr Pramod Gopal (Plant and Food Research), Dr Kerry Bentley-Hewitt (Plant and Food Research), Professor Carol Cheatham (University of North Carolina), Dr Janine Cooney (Plant and Food Research), Dr Heike Schwendel (Plant and Food Research), Dr Edward Walker (Plant and Food Research)

Data description

Outcomes of the Study and associated data Primary outcomes: - Composite measures of cognitive function parameters will include attention, reaction time, cognitive flexibility, working memory and learning - Subjective measure of mood assessed using a Bond-Lader Visual Analogue questionnaire. - Mental fatigue assessed using an electronic Visual Analogue Scale Associated data: cognitive function, subjective mood, mental fatigue Secondary outcomes: - Composite measures of neurotransmitters in venous blood - prolactin and plasma concentrations of up to 35 inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters and their precursors associated with the tryptophan, tyrosine and glutamate pathways. - Platelet monoamine oxidase-B activity (MAO-B) in whole blood samples - Plasma anthocyanin and polyphenol levels in blood Associated data: composite neurotransmitters measure, platelet MAO-B activity, plasma anthocyanin and polyphenol concentrations

Principal investigator contact email