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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018 Oct 22. doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0349-x. [Epub ahead of print]

Effect of monosodium L-glutamate (umami substance) on cognitive function in people with dementia.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Regulation, School of Health Science, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, 86 Nishicho, Yonago, 683-8503, Japan. kouzuki@med.tottori-u.ac.jp.
2
Work Life Balance Support Center, Tottori University Hospital, 36-1 Nishicho, Yonago, 683-8504, Japan.
3
Department of Biological Regulation, School of Health Science, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, 86 Nishicho, Yonago, 683-8503, Japan.
4
Frontier Research Laboratories, Institute for Innovation, Ajinomoto Co., Inc., 1-1, Suzuki-Cho, Kawasaki-Ku, Kawasaki-Shi, 210-8681, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:

This study assessed the effect of continuous ingestion of monosodium L-glutamate (MSG) on cognitive function and dietary score in dementia patients.

SUBJECTS/METHODS:

This was a single-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 159 subjects with dementia residing in a hospital or nursing home. We assigned the subjects to a group that ingested MSG thrice daily (0.9 g/dose) (MSG group; n = 79) or a group that ingested NaCl thrice daily (0.26 g/dose) (Control group; n = 80). This study consisted of a 12-week intake period, followed by a 4-week follow-up period without the ingestion of MSG or NaCl. We performed physical examination, cognitive symptom tests (the Touch Panel-type Dementia Assessment Scale (TDAS) and Gottfries-Bråne-Steen Scale (GBSS)), palatability and behaviour questionnaires, and blood tests before and after the intervention and after the follow-up period.

RESULTS:

There were no significant differences in the TDAS and GBSS total scores between the groups before and after the intervention. However, regarding the TDAS sub-items, "the accuracy of the order of a process" did not deteriorate in the MSG group compared with that observed in the Control group (p < 0.05). At the follow-up assessment, the TDAS total scores in the MSG group showed significant improvement compared with those reported in the Control group (p < 0.05). Furthermore, there was a correlation of changes from pre-intervention to post-intervention between the TDAS and enjoyment of the meal (r = -0.299, p = 0.049).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results suggest that continued ingestion of MSG has an effect on cognitive function. Furthermore, the patients with improved questionnaires about palatability survey showed greater improvement in cognitive function.

PMID:
30349139
DOI:
10.1038/s41430-018-0349-x

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