D1 | Abstract 01

Annual NUTRIM Symposium 18 November 2020


The Effect of Long-Term Aronia Melanocarpa Extract on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Vascular Function

Sanne Ahles 1,2, Yala R Stevens 2,3, Peter J Joris 1, David Vauzour 4, Jos Adam 1, Eric de Groot 5,6 and Jogchum Plat 1

1 Department of Nutrition and Movement Sciences, School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
2 BioActor BV, Gaetano Martinolaan 85, 6229 GS Maastricht, The Netherlands
3 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology-Hepatology, School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
4 Biomedical Research Centre, Norwich Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
5 Imagelabonline & Cardiovascular, 4117 GV Erichem, The Netherlands
6 Department of Gastroenterology, Amsterdam UMC-Location Academic Medical Centre, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Gradual deterioration of cognitive ability is linked to age and various risk factors such as overweight, blood pressure, and dietary intake. Anthocyanins are a polyphenol subgroup, mainly found in berry fruits. Multiple studies in both children and elderly have observed favorable effects of anthocyanin intake on cognitive performance. However, the effect of the anthocyanin-rich berry fruit Aronia melanocarpa on cognitive performance remains unexplored. Therefore, the goal of this study was to assess the effect of 24 weeks of Aronia melanocarpa extract (AME) supplementation on cognition, mood, and vascular function in a healthy, middle-aged, overweight population.

A randomized double-blind placebo controlled parallel study was designed and included 101 participants that consumed either 90 mg AME, 150 mg AME, or placebo for 24 weeks. Cognitive measures consisted of the grooved pegboard test (psychomotor speed), the number cross-out test (attention), and the Stroop test (cognitive flexibility). In addition, mood was evaluated with a visual analogue scale. Lastly, serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and vascular function (blood pressure and carotid ultrasounds) were assessed as potential mechanisms involved in cognitive performance

90 mg AME supplementation resulted in an improved score on the grooved pegboard test (psychomotor speed) compared to placebo (change = -3,37; p = 0.009). No differences were observed for the other cognitive tests, mood, or BDNF. Furthermore, supplementation with 150 mg AME decreased brachial diastolic blood pressure compared to 90 mg AME (change = 2.44; p = 0.011), but not compared to placebo. The other parameters for vascular function were unaffected.

Supplementation with AME demonstrated an indication of a protective effect on both cognitive ability and blood pressure in individuals at risk of cognitive decline. Further research is crucial to determine associated mechanisms.

NUTRIM | School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism
NUTRIM aims to contribute to health maintenance and personalised medicine by unraveling lifestyle and disease-induced derangements in metabolism and by developing targeted nutritional, exercise and drug interventions. This is facilitated by a state of the art research infrastructure and close interaction between scientists, clinicians, master and PhD students.