Response variability to glucose facilitation of cognitive enhancement

Owen, Lauren and Scholey, Andrew B. and Finnegan, Yvonne and Sünram-Lea, Sandra-Ilona (2013) Response variability to glucose facilitation of cognitive enhancement. British Journal of Nutrition, 110 (10). pp. 1873-1884. ISSN 0007-1145

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Glucose facilitation of cognitive function has been widely reported in previous studies (including our own). However, several studies have also failed to detect glucose facilitation. There is sparsity of research examining the factors that modify the effect of glucose on cognition. The aims of the present study were to (1) demonstrate the previously observed enhancement of cognition through glucose administration and (2) investigate some of the factors that may exert moderating roles on the behavioural response to glucose, including glucose regulation, body composition (BC) and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis response. A total of twenty-four participants took part in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, repeated-measures study, which examined the effect of 25 and 60 g glucose compared with placebo on cognitive function. At 1 week before the study commencement, all participants underwent an oral glucose tolerance test. Glucose facilitated performance on tasks of numeric and spatial working memory, verbal declarative memory and speed of recognition. Moderating variables were examined using several indices of glucoregulation and BC. Poorer glucoregulation predicted improved immediate word recall accuracy following the administration of 25 g glucose compared with placebo. Those with better glucoregulation showed performance decrements on word recall accuracy following the administration of 25 g glucose compared with placebo. These findings are in line with accumulating evidence that glucose load may preferentially enhance cognition in those with poorer glucoregulation. Furthermore, the finding that individuals with better glucoregulation may suffer impaired performance following a glucose load is novel and requires further substantiation.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
British Journal of Nutrition
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6 month embargo as requested by publisher from date of publication. (Pre-Print) The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, British Journal of Nutrition, 110 (10), pp 1873-1884 2013, © 2013 Cambridge University Press.
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05 Apr 2013 08:05
Last Modified:
15 Sep 2023 04:06