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Special Issue "Cognitive Benefits of Nutrients"

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A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Andrew Scholey

Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University Victoria 3122, Melbourne, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +61 392 145525
Interests: neurocognitive and mood effects of nutrition and nutraceuticals; cognition enhancing and anti-stress effects of natural medicines; blood glucose and cognitive function; neurocognitive effects of recreational drug use; use of novel platforms (internet, PDAs, mobile phone) for assessing mood state and cognitive performance

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Acute Effects of Different Multivitamin Mineral Preparations with and without Guaraná on Mood, Cognitive Performance and Functional Brain Activation
Nutrients 2013, 5(9), 3589-3604; doi:10.3390/nu5093589
Received: 8 August 2013 / Revised: 4 September 2013 / Accepted: 5 September 2013 / Published: 13 September 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Previous work has identified the positive effects of the acute administration of a multivitamin-guaraná preparation during an effortful executive/working memory task. Here, we aimed to differentiate the effects of multivitamins with and without guaraná and to examine the neural substrates of such effects
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Previous work has identified the positive effects of the acute administration of a multivitamin-guaraná preparation during an effortful executive/working memory task. Here, we aimed to differentiate the effects of multivitamins with and without guaraná and to examine the neural substrates of such effects using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Following a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, balanced crossover design, 20 participants (mean age 29 ± 5.54 years) consumed multivitamin preparations with or without guaraná (Berocca® Performance and Boost, respectively) and a placebo. Thirty minutes post-treatment, they underwent neurocognitive assessment, consisting of a 10 min Cognitive Demand Battery, with mood ratings taken immediately before and after the battery. Five additional participants underwent post-treatment fMRI scanning during Rapid Visual Information Processing and Inspection Time activation tasks. The multivitamin with guaraná treatment was associated with significantly enhanced Serial Threes performance and self-rated contentment. fMRI revealed that both multivitamin treatments increased activation in areas associated with working memory and attentional processing, with the effect being greater in the multivitamin with guaraná condition. These data confirm the acute benefits of multivitamins with guaraná on mood and cognitive performance. Furthermore, they demonstrate for the first time increased brain activation from multivitamin preparations both with and without guaraná, as measured using fMRI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Benefits of Nutrients)
Open AccessArticle Breakfast and Snacks: Associations with Cognitive Failures, Minor Injuries, Accidents and Stress
Nutrients 2011, 3(5), 515-528; doi:10.3390/nu3050515
Received: 20 March 2011 / Revised: 25 April 2011 / Accepted: 3 May 2011 / Published: 4 May 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (236 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One strategy for examining effects of nutrients on cognitive function is to initially investigate foods that contain many different nutrients. If effects are demonstrated with these foods then further studies can address the role of specific nutrients. Breakfast foods (e.g., cereals, dairy products
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One strategy for examining effects of nutrients on cognitive function is to initially investigate foods that contain many different nutrients. If effects are demonstrated with these foods then further studies can address the role of specific nutrients. Breakfast foods (e.g., cereals, dairy products and fruit) provide many important nutrients and consumption of breakfast has been shown to be associated with beneficial effects on cognitive function. Isolating effects of specific constituents of breakfast has proved more difficult and it is still unclear what impact breakfast has on real-life performance. The present study provided initial information on associations between breakfast consumption and cognitive failures and accidents. A second aim was to examine associations between consumption of snacks which are often perceived as being unhealthy (chocolate, crisps and biscuits). A sample of over 800 nurses took part in the study. The results showed that frequency of breakfast consumption (varied breakfasts: 62% cereal) was associated with lower stress, fewer cognitive failures, injuries and accidents at work. In contrast, snacking on crisps, chocolate and biscuits was associated with higher stress, more cognitive failures and more injuries outside of work. Further research requires intervention studies to provide a clearer profile of causality and underlying mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Benefits of Nutrients)

Review

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Open AccessReview Metabolic Agents that Enhance ATP can Improve Cognitive Functioning: A Review of the Evidence for Glucose, Oxygen, Pyruvate, Creatine, and l-Carnitine
Nutrients 2011, 3(8), 735-755; doi:10.3390/nu3080735
Received: 23 June 2011 / Revised: 18 July 2011 / Accepted: 4 August 2011 / Published: 10 August 2011
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (185 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the past four or five decades, there has been increasing interest in the neurochemical regulation of cognition. This field received considerable attention in the 1980s, with the identification of possible cognition enhancing agents or “smart drugs”. Even though many of the optimistic
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Over the past four or five decades, there has been increasing interest in the neurochemical regulation of cognition. This field received considerable attention in the 1980s, with the identification of possible cognition enhancing agents or “smart drugs”. Even though many of the optimistic claims for some agents have proven premature, evidence suggests that several metabolic agents may prove to be effective in improving and preserving cognitive performance and may lead to better cognitive aging through the lifespan. Aging is characterized by a progressive deterioration in physiological functions and metabolic processes. There are a number of agents with the potential to improve metabolic activity. Research is now beginning to identify these various agents and delineate their potential usefulness for improving cognition in health and disease. This review provides a brief overview of the metabolic agents glucose, oxygen, pyruvate, creatine, and l-carnitine and their beneficial effects on cognitive function. These agents are directly responsible for generating ATP (adenosine triphosphate) the main cellular currency of energy. The brain is the most metabolically active organ in the body and as such is particularly vulnerable to disruption of energy resources. Therefore interventions that sustain adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels may have importance for improving neuronal dysfunction and loss. Moreover, recently, it has been observed that environmental conditions and diet can affect transgenerational gene expression via epigenetic mechanisms. Metabolic agents might play a role in regulation of nutritional epigenetic effects. In summary, the reviewed metabolic agents represent a promising strategy for improving cognitive function and possibly slowing or preventing cognitive decline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Benefits of Nutrients)
Open AccessReview Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): An Ancient Nutrient for the Modern Human Brain
Nutrients 2011, 3(5), 529-554; doi:10.3390/nu3050529
Received: 20 March 2011 / Revised: 27 April 2011 / Accepted: 3 May 2011 / Published: 10 May 2011
Cited by 57 | PDF Full-text (334 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Modern humans have evolved with a staple source of preformed docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the diet. An important turning point in human evolution was the discovery of high-quality, easily digested nutrients from coastal seafood and inland freshwater sources. Multi-generational exploitation of seafood by
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Modern humans have evolved with a staple source of preformed docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the diet. An important turning point in human evolution was the discovery of high-quality, easily digested nutrients from coastal seafood and inland freshwater sources. Multi-generational exploitation of seafood by shore-based dwellers coincided with the rapid expansion of grey matter in the cerebral cortex, which characterizes the modern human brain. The DHA molecule has unique structural properties that appear to provide optimal conditions for a wide range of cell membrane functions. This has particular implications for grey matter, which is membrane-rich tissue. An important metabolic role for DHA has recently been identified as the precursor for resolvins and protectins. The rudimentary source of DHA is marine algae; therefore it is found concentrated in fish and marine oils. Unlike the photosynthetic cells in algae and higher plants, mammalian cells lack the specific enzymes required for the de novo synthesis of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the precursor for all omega-3 fatty acid syntheses. Endogenous synthesis of DHA from ALA in humans is much lower and more limited than previously assumed. The excessive consumption of omega-6 fatty acids in the modern Western diet further displaces DHA from membrane phospholipids. An emerging body of research is exploring a unique role for DHA in neurodevelopment and the prevention of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. DHA is increasingly being added back into the food supply as fish oil or algal oil supplementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Benefits of Nutrients)
Open AccessReview Dehydration Influences Mood and Cognition: A Plausible Hypothesis?
Nutrients 2011, 3(5), 555-573; doi:10.3390/nu3050555
Received: 21 March 2011 / Revised: 26 April 2011 / Accepted: 3 May 2011 / Published: 10 May 2011
Cited by 30 | PDF Full-text (257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The hypothesis was considered that a low fluid intake disrupts cognition and mood. Most research has been carried out on young fit adults, who typically have exercised, often in heat. The results of these studies are inconsistent, preventing any conclusion. Even if the
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The hypothesis was considered that a low fluid intake disrupts cognition and mood. Most research has been carried out on young fit adults, who typically have exercised, often in heat. The results of these studies are inconsistent, preventing any conclusion. Even if the findings had been consistent, confounding variables such as fatigue and increased temperature make it unwise to extrapolate these findings. Thus in young adults there is little evidence that under normal living conditions dehydration disrupts cognition, although this may simply reflect a lack of relevant evidence. There remains the possibility that particular populations are at high risk of dehydration. It is known that renal function declines in many older individuals and thirst mechanisms become less effective. Although there are a few reports that more dehydrated older adults perform cognitive tasks less well, the body of information is limited and there have been little attempt to improve functioning by increasing hydration status. Although children are another potentially vulnerable group that have also been subject to little study, they are the group that has produced the only consistent findings in this area. Four intervention studies have found improved performance in children aged 7 to 9 years. In these studies children, eating and drinking as normal, have been tested on occasions when they have and not have consumed a drink. After a drink both memory and attention have been found to be improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Benefits of Nutrients)

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