Despite an increasing level of evidence supporting the individual beneficial effect of polyphenols on cognitive performance, information related to the potential synergistic action of these phytonutrients on cognitive performance during a prolonged cognitive effort is currently lacking. This study investigated the acute and sustained action of a polyphenols-rich extract from grape and blueberry (PEGB), on working memory and attention in healthy students during a prolonged and intensive cognitive effort. In this randomised, cross-over, double blind study, 30 healthy students consumed 600 mg of PEGB or a placebo. Ninety minutes after product intake, cognitive functions were assessed for one hour using a cognitive demand battery including serial subtraction tasks, a rapid visual information processing (RVIP) task and a visual analogical scale. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and plasma flavan-3-ols metabolites quantification were also performed. A 2.5-fold increase in serial three subtraction variation net scores was observed following PEGB consumption versus placebo (p < 0.001). A trend towards significance was also observed with RVIP percentage of correct answers (p = 0.058). No treatment effect was observed on FMD. Our findings suggest that consumption of PEGB coupled with a healthy lifestyle may be a safe alternative to acutely improve working memory and attention during a sustained cognitive effort.
Keywords: brain; catechin; cognition; epicatechin; flavanols; flavonoids; human; monomers; single dose.