A Randomized, Crossover Study of the Acute Cognitive and Cerebral Blood Flow Effects of Phenolic, Nitrate and Botanical Beverages in Young, Healthy Humans

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Original languageEnglish
Article number2254
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2020
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In whole foods, polyphenols exist alongside a wide array of other potentially bioactive phytochemicals. Yet, investigations of the effects of combinations of polyphenols with other phytochemicals are limited. Objective: The current study investigated the effects of combining extracts of beetroot, ginseng and sage with phenolic-rich apple, blueberry and coffee berry extracts. Design: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design investigated three active beverages in 32 healthy adults aged 18–49 years. Each investigational beverage comprised extracts of beetroot, ginseng and sage. Each also contained a phenolic-rich extract derived from apple (containing 234 mg flavanols), blueberry (300 mg anthocyanins) or coffee berry (440 mg chlorogenic acid). Cognition, mood and CBF parameters were assessed at baseline and then again at 60, 180 and 360 min post-drink. Results: Robust effects on mood and CBF were seen for the apple and coffee berry beverages, with increased subjective energetic arousal and hemodynamic responses being observed. Fewer effects were seen with the blueberry extract beverage. Conclusions: Either the combination of beetroot, ginseng and sage was enhanced by the synergistic addition of the apple and coffee berry extract (and to a lesser extent the blueberry extract) or the former two phenolic-rich extracts were capable of evincing the robust mood and CBF effects alone.

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