Chronic consumption of flavanone-rich orange juice is associated with cognitive benefits: an 8-wk, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in healthy older adults

Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Mar;101(3):506-14. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.088518. Epub 2015 Jan 14.


Background: Research indicates that the chronic consumption of flavonoids is associated with cognitive benefits in adults with mild cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative disease, although to our knowledge, there have been no such studies in healthy older adults. Furthermore, the effects of commonly consumed orange juice flavanones on cognitive function remain unexplored.

Objective: We investigated whether 8 wk of daily flavanone-rich orange juice consumption was beneficial for cognitive function in healthy older adults.

Design: High-flavanone (305 mg) 100% orange juice and an equicaloric low-flavanone (37 mg) orange-flavored cordial (500 mL) were consumed daily for 8 wk by 37 healthy older adults (mean age: 67 y) according to a crossover, double-blind, randomized design separated by a 4-wk washout. Cognitive function, mood, and blood pressure were assessed at baseline and follow-up by using standardized validated tests.

Results: Global cognitive function was significantly better after 8-wk consumption of flavanone-rich juice than after 8-wk consumption of the low-flavanone control. No significant effects on mood or blood pressure were observed.

Conclusions: Chronic daily consumption of flavanone-rich 100% orange juice over 8 wk is beneficial for cognitive function in healthy older adults. The potential for flavanone-rich foods and drinks to attenuate cognitive decline in aging and the mechanisms that underlie these effects should be investigated.

Trial registration: NCT01312610.

Keywords: cognitive function; executive function; flavanone; flavonoid; orange juice.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Beverages* / analysis
  • Citrus sinensis* / chemistry
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / prevention & control*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Disaccharides / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • England
  • Executive Function
  • Female
  • Flavanones / therapeutic use
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fruit* / chemistry
  • Functional Food* / analysis
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Hesperidin / analysis
  • Hesperidin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory


  • Disaccharides
  • Flavanones
  • narirutin
  • Hesperidin

Associated data