In the current study, sixty healthy older adults aged 50 years or older, and who were light to moderate coffee drinkers, were administered 6g of a decaffeinated green coffee blend (NESCAFÉ Green Blend coffee; GB) or 540mg pure chlorogenic acids (CGA) or placebo in a double-blind acute cross-over design, with cognitive and mood assessments pre-dose, 40-mins and 120-mins post-dose. The primary outcome measure was accuracy in Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP). Secondary cognitive outcome measures included RVIP reaction time as well as Inspection time (IT), Jensen Box decision/reaction times, serial subtraction and N-Back working memory. Secondary mood measures included Bond-Lader and caffeine Research visual analogue scales (VAS). No significant treatment effects were found for the primary outcome measure, although significant effects were found amongst secondary measures. Overall, CGA in isolation was not found to significantly improve cognitive function relative to placebo whereas the GB was found to improve sustained attention as measured by the N-Back task in comparison to placebo overall (t=2.45,p=.05), as well as decision time on a 2-choice reaction time task (Jensen box) in comparison to placebo at 40 minutes post-dose (t=2.45,p=.05). Similarly, GB was found to improve alertness on both the Bond-Lader at 120 minutes relative to CGA (t=2.86, p=0.02) and the caffeine Research VAS relative to CGA (t=3.09, p=0.009) and placebo (t=2.75,p=0.02) at 120 minutes post-dose. Both the GB and CGA were also found to significantly improve symptoms of headache at 120 minutes relative to placebo (t=2.51,p=0.03 and t=2.43,p=.04 respectively), whilst there was a trend towards a reduction in jitteriness with GB and CGA in comparison to placebo at 40 minutes post-dose (t=2.24,p=0.06 and t=2.20,p=0.06 respectively). These findings suggest that the improvements in mood observed with GB, but not the improvements in cognitive function, are likely to some extent to be attributable to CGAs.
Trial registration: Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12611000067976 www.anzctr.org.au.