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
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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.