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Effects of a mixed berry beverage on cognitive functions and cardiometabolic risk markers; A randomized cross-over study in healthy older adults.

Randomized controlled trial
Nilsson A, et al. PLoS One. 2017.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Berries and associated bioactive compounds, e.g. polyphenols and dietary fibre (DF), may have beneficial implications with respect to the metabolic syndrome, including also cognitive functions. The aim of this study was to evaluate effects on cognitive functions and cardiometabolic risk markers of 5 wk intervention with a mixture of berries, in healthy humans.

METHODS: Forty healthy subjects between 50-70 years old were provided a berry beverage based on a mixture of berries (150g blueberries, 50g blackcurrant, 50g elderberry, 50g lingonberries, 50g strawberry, and 100g tomatoes) or a control beverage, daily during 5 weeks in a randomized crossover design. The control beverage (water based) was matched with respect to monosaccharides, pH, and volume. Cognitive tests included tests of working memory capacity, selective attention, and psychomotor reaction time. Cardiometabolic test variables investigated were blood pressure, fasting blood concentrations of glucose, insulin, blood lipids, inflammatory markers, and markers of oxidative stress.

RESULTS: The daily amounts of total polyphenols and DF from the berry beverage were 795 mg and 11g, respectively. There were no polyphenols or DF in the control beverage. The berry intervention reduced total- and LDL cholesterol compared to baseline (both P<0.05), and in comparison to the control beverage (P<0.005 and P<0.01, respectively). The control beverage increased glucose concentrations (P<0.01) and tended to increase insulin concentrations (P = 0.064) from base line, and increased insulin concentrations in comparison to the berry beverage (P<0.05). Subjects performed better in the working memory test after the berry beverage compared to after the control beverage (P<0.05). No significant effects on the other test variables were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: The improvements in cardiometabolic risk markers and cognitive performance after the berry beverage suggest preventive potential of berries with respect to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and associated cognitive decline. Possibly the polyphenols and DF contributed to the beneficial effects.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01562392.

PMID

29141041 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PMCID

PMC5687726

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