The impact of blackcurrant juice on attention, mood and brain wave spectral activity in young healthy volunteers

Nutr Neurosci. 2019 Aug;22(8):596-606. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2017.1420539. Epub 2018 Jan 17.


There is a growing body of evidence from randomized controlled trials which indicates that consumption of berries has a positive effect upon the cognitive function of healthy adults. It has been recommended that studies combining cognitive and physiological measures be undertaken in order to strengthen the evidence base for the putative effects of flavonoid consumption on cognitive outcomes. This pilot study utilized a randomized, double-blind and placebo controlled crossover design to assess the influence of the acute administration of anthocyanin-rich blackcurrant juice, standardized at 500 mg of polyphenols, on mood and attention. Additionally, this trial used electroencephalography (EEG) to assess if any changes in cognitive performance are associated with changes in localized prefrontal cortex neuronal activity in nine healthy young adults. Outcomes from the pilot EEG data highlight an anxiolytic effect of the consumption of a single serve blackcurrant juice, as indexed by a suppression of α spectral power, and an increase in the slow wave δ and θ spectral powers. There was also an indication of greater alertness and lower fatigue, as indexed by an increase in β power and suppression of α spectral power. Outcomes from the CogTrack™ system indicated a small acute increase in reaction times during the digit vigilance task.

Keywords: Attention; Blackcurrants; CogTrack; Computerized cognitive testing; EEG.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Anthocyanins / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / administration & dosage
  • Attention / drug effects*
  • Brain Waves / drug effects*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Polyphenols / administration & dosage
  • Prefrontal Cortex / drug effects*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Reaction Time
  • Ribes*
  • Young Adult


  • Anthocyanins
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols