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Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2006 Mar;20(117):367-70.

[Carbohydrates and mental performance--the role of glycemic index of food products].

[Article in Polish]

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Pracownia Prewencji Pierwotnej Chorób Uwarunkowanych Zanieczyszczeniami i Wadliwym Zywieniem, Zakład Bezpieczeństwa Zywności i Zywienia Instytutu Zywności i Zywienia w Warszawie.


The role of carbohydrates in proper functioning of central nervous system measured by parameters of cognitive performance was described. The only source of energy for the brain is glucose, which stimulates the production and secretion of acetylocholine. Important are also enough high blood level of insulin and the level of insulin growth factor (IGF). Many studies had showed that breakfast intake improves the ability of concentration, reaction time, learning ability, mood and memory. Not sufficient amount of nutritional carbohydrates may in opposite be negative for the results of some tests measuring cognitive performance. The results of studies showing that the disturbances in utilization of carbohydrates, present in the patients with diabetes, increase the risk of abnormalities of cognitive performance. There is some evidence that the kind of ingested carbohydrates is important. Several studies suggest that the intake of carbohydrates characterized by low glycemic index (GI) may be favorable for some parameters of cognitive performance, because of prolonged time of stable glicaemia after food ingestion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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