Flavonoid-rich orange juice is associated with acute improvements in cognitive function in healthy middle-aged males

Eur J Nutr. 2016 Sep;55(6):2021-9. doi: 10.1007/s00394-015-1016-9. Epub 2015 Aug 18.


Purpose: Epidemiological evidence suggests that chronic consumption of fruit-based flavonoids is associated with cognitive benefits; however, the acute effects of flavonoid-rich (FR) drinks on cognitive function in the immediate postprandial period require examination. The objective was to investigate whether consumption of FR orange juice is associated with acute cognitive benefits over 6 h in healthy middle-aged adults.

Methods: Males aged 30-65 consumed a 240-ml FR orange juice (272 mg) and a calorie-matched placebo in a randomized, double-blind, counterbalanced order on 2 days separated by a 2-week washout. Cognitive function and subjective mood were assessed at baseline (prior to drink consumption) and 2 and 6 h post consumption. The cognitive battery included eight individual cognitive tests. A standardized breakfast was consumed prior to the baseline measures, and a standardized lunch was consumed 3 h post-drink consumption.

Results: Change from baseline analysis revealed that performance on tests of executive function and psychomotor speed was significantly better following the FR drink compared to the placebo. The effects of objective cognitive function were supported by significant benefits for subjective alertness following the FR drink relative to the placebo.

Conclusions: These data demonstrate that consumption of FR orange juice can acutely enhance objective and subjective cognition over the course of 6 h in healthy middle-aged adults.

Keywords: Cognition; Cognitive function; Flavanones; Flavonoids; Orange juice.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Citrus sinensis / chemistry*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Energy Intake
  • Executive Function / drug effects
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Fruit and Vegetable Juices / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Flavonoids