Acute cocoa flavanol improves cerebral oxygenation without enhancing executive function at rest or after exercise

Decroix, Lieselot, Tonoli, Cajsa, Soares, Danusa D., Tagougui, Semah, Heyman, Elsa, and Meeusen, Romain (2016) Acute cocoa flavanol improves cerebral oxygenation without enhancing executive function at rest or after exercise. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 41 (12). pp. 1225-1232.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Acute exercise-induced improvements in cognitive function are accompanied by increased (cerebral) blood flow and increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. Acute cocoa flavanol (CF) intake may improve cognitive function, cerebral blood flow (in humans), and BNDF levels (in animals). This study investigated (i) the effect of CF intake in combination with exercise on cognitive function and (ii) cerebral hemodynamics and BDNF in response to CF intake and exercise. Twelve healthy men participated in this randomized, double-blind, crossover study. Participants performed a cognitive task (CT) at 100 min after acute 903-mg CF or placebo (PL) intake, followed by a 30-min time-trial. Immediately after this exercise, the same CT was performed. Prefrontal near-infrared spectroscopy was applied during CT and exercise to measure changes in oxygenated (Delta HbO(2)), deoxygenated (Delta HHb), and total haemoglobin (Delta Hb(tot)) and blood samples were drawn and analyzed for BDNF. Reaction time was faster postexercise, but was not influenced by CF. Delta HbO(2) during the resting CT was increased by CF, compared with PL. Delta HbO(2), Delta HHb, and Delta Hb(tot) increased in response to exercise without any effect of CF. During the postexercise cognitive task, there were no hemodynamic differences between CF or PL. Serum BDNF was increased by exercise, but was not influenced by CF. In conclusion, at rest, CF intake increased cerebral oxygenation, but not BDNF concentrations, and no impact on executive function was detected. This beneficial effect of CF on cerebral oxygenation at rest was overruled by the strong exercise-induced increases in cerebral perfusion and oxygenation.

Item ID: 46674
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1715-5320
Keywords: exercise, cognition, cerebral hemodynamics, BDNF, cocoa flavanol, NIRS
Funders: Nationale Loterij, Belgium (NL)
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2016 07:42
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3205 Medical biochemistry and metabolomics > 320507 Metabolic medicine @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page