Solabia’s Brainberry enhances peak cognitive performance in young adults: Study

By Olivia Haslam

- Last updated on GMT

© Nadezhda_Nesterova / Getty Images
© Nadezhda_Nesterova / Getty Images

Related tags chokeberry Antioxidant Oxidative stress Cognitive function

Short-term supplementation with Solabia Nutrition’s chokeberry extract Brainberry may benefit cognitive performance in young adults.

In a new study sponsored by the Netherlands-based ingredient manufacturer, researchers from Maastricht University explored the effects of one week of supplementation with the anthocyanin-rich Aronia melanocarpa ​extract (AME).

Results published in the European Journal of Nutrition ​showed improvements in attention and psychomotor speed as well as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). 

"This study demonstrates the great potential of Brainberry in supporting brain fitness, specifically reaction time in young adults,” the researchers concluded. 

Cognitive capacity 

Previous studies show that consuming anthocyanin-rich foods can improve cognitive performance at all life stages. A systematic review of the benefits of long-term (4-24 weeks) supplementation with AME on cognitive performance found that it mostly improved memory in older adults and increased attention and psychomotor speed in younger adults.

The current, however, noted that conclusions have predominantly been drawn from long-term interventions and that only one short-term study using a New Zealand Blackcurrant intervention​ was included in the review, which did not observe any significant effects on cognitive performance.

As such, the researchers aimed to determine the short-term effects of Aronia extract supplementation on the main cognitive domains (attention and psychomotor speed, memory and executive function) in healthy young adults.

Study details

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study recruited 35 healthy young adults between the ages of 18 and 35. Participants consumed AME (180 mg anthocyanins/day) or a placebo for one week, separated by a two-week washout period.

Cognitive performance was assessed using the ​Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CAN-TAB), designed to assess attention and psychomotor speed, memory and executive function.

To understand the mechanism of action, the researchers also measured arterial stiffness, retinal microvascular calibers and serum BDNF concentrations at baseline and after one week.

Results showed supplementation reduced response time by 4.8% in a reaction test, and increased serum BDNF concentrations by 5.7%. Memory and executive function, however, did not change.

Mechanistically, the authors hypothesized that the flavonoids could enhance cognitive performance by increasing regional cerebral blood flow​ and elevating BDNF concentrations. However, the observed improvements in cognitive performance were not directly correlated with changes in serum BDNF concentrations.

Flavonoids have also been shown to exert vasoprotective effects, potentially supporting cognitive function​ by improving nutrient and oxygen supply to the brain, however, no effects on vascular function were observed in the study.

“Further research is needed to elucidate the specific mechanisms underlying the cognitive effects of anthocyanin supplementation and to explore individual variations in response to supplementation,” the researchers concluded. 

 

Journal: European Journal of Nutrition 
doi: 10.1007/s00394-024-03381-3​ 
“Short‐term Aronia melanocarpa ​extract supplementation improves cognitive performance: a randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled cross‐over study in healthy young adults.”
Authors: Ahles, S. et al.

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