Friday, 3 November 2017

Flavanol-rich cocoa consumption enhances exercise-induced executive function improvements in humans

Hayato Tsukamoto, Ph.D. , Tadashi Suga, Ph.D.'Correspondence information about the author Ph.D. Tadashi SugaEmail the author Ph.D. Tadashi Suga , Aya Ishibashi, M.S. , Saki Takenaka, B.S. , Daichi Tanaka, B.S. , Yoshitaka Hirano, B.S. , Takafumi Hamaoka, M.D., Ph.D. , Kazushige Goto, Ph.D. , Kumiko Ebi, Ph.D. , Tadao Isaka, Ph.D. , Takeshi Hashimoto, Ph.D. PlumX Metrics DOI: [Privacy Badger has replaced this AddThis button.] showArticle Info Abstract Full Text Images References Highlights •Consumption of high cocoa flavanol (HCF) could acutely improve cognitive function. (82/85) •The effect of a combination of HCF and exercise on cognitive functions is unclear. (82/85) •The impact of HCF on exercise-induced improvement in cognitive function was examined. (85/85) •Exercise-induced executive function (EF) improvements were further promoted by HCF. (83/85) •A combination of HCF and aerobic exercise is a beneficial strategy for improving EF. (84/85) Abstract Objective Aerobic exercise is known to acutely improve cognitive functions, such as executive function (EF) and memory function (MF). Additionally, consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa is reported to acutely improve cognitive function. Thus, we hypothesized that high cocoa flavanol (CF; HCF) consumption would enhance exercise-induced improvement in cognitive function. To test this hypothesis, we examined the combined effects of HCF consumption and moderate-intensity exercise on EF and MF during post-exercise recovery. Methods Ten healthy young men received either an HCF (563 mg of CF) or energy-matched low CF (LCF) (38 mg of CF) beverage 70 min before exercise in a single-blind counterbalanced manner. Then, subjects performed moderate-intensity cycling exercise at 60% of peak oxygen uptake for 30 min. Subjects performed a color-word Stroop task and face-name matching task to evaluate EF and MF, respectively, during 6 time periods throughout the experimental session. Results EF significantly improved immediately after exercise compared with before exercise in both conditions. However, EF was higher after HCF consumption than after LCF consumption during all time periods because HCF consumption improved EF before exercise. In contrast, HCF consumption and moderate-intensity exercise did not improve MF throughout the experiment. Conclusion The present findings demonstrated that HCF consumption prior to moderate-intensity exercise could enhance exercise-induced improvement in EF, but not in MF. Therefore, we suggest that the combination of HCF consumption and aerobic exercise may be beneficial for improving EF. Keywords: Brain health, Cognition, Aerobic exercise, Antioxidant supplementation, Post-exercise recovery, Stroop task Abbreviations: EF (executive function), MF (memory function), DLPFC (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), MTL (medial temporal lobe), CF (cocoa flavanol), HCF (high CF), LCF (low CF), VO2 peak (peak oxygen uptake), CWST (color-word Stroop task), FNMT (face-name matching task), FAS (felt arousal scale), VAS (visual analog scale), HR (heart rate), MAP (mean arterial pressure), SBP (systolic blood pressure), DBP (diastolic blood pressure), BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), NO (nitric oxide)