Flavonoid-Rich Mixed Berries Maintain and Improve Cognitive Function Over a 6 h Period in Young Healthy Adults.
Nutrients. 2019 Nov 6 ;11(11). Epub 2019 Nov 6. PMID: 31698695
Adrian R Whyte
Research with young adults has previously indicated flavonoid-rich berry interventions facilitate improved executive function (EF) and positive affect 20 min-2 h post-dosing. There has been little consideration of the impact of a berry intervention over a working day and interventions have also tended to consider only a single berry type. This study investigated the temporal profile of EF and mood changes over a 6 h period following a mixed-berry intervention. We hypothesized berry-related benefits would be most evident when participants were cognitively compromised on demanding elements of the task or during periods of fatigue. The study employed a single-blind, randomized, placebo controlled, between-subjects design. Forty participants aged 20-30 years consumed a 400 mL smoothie containing equal blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry (= 20) or matched placebo (= 20). Mood was assessed using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule; EF was tested using the Modified Attention Network (MANT) and Task Switching (TST) Tasks. Testing commenced at baseline then 2, 4 and 6 h post-dosing. As expected, following placebo intervention, performance decreased across the day as participants became cognitively fatigued. However, following berry intervention, participants maintained accuracy on both cognitive tasks up to and including 6 h, and demonstrated quicker response times on the MANT at 2 and 4 h, and TST at 6 h. This study demonstrates the efficacy of flavonoid rich berries in maintaining or improving cognitive performance across the 6 h day.