Effects of chicken extract on the recovery from fatigue caused by mental workload

Appl Human Sci. 1996 Nov;15(6):281-6. doi: 10.2114/jpa.15.281.


Folk wisdom suggests that chicken extract is useful for recovery from physical and mental fatigue. To explore this question, the physiological effect of Brand's Essence of Chicken (BEC), a popular chicken extract used as a traditional remedy, was assessed during recovering from mental stress. We quantitated the blood levels of stress-related substances, and examined the task performance and subjects' mood states during mental workloads. Subjects were 20, healthy male students who have never tasted BEC. They took two bottles of BEC or a placebo (70 ml/bottle) daily in the morning for 7 days. On the final experimental day, two mental workload tests were performed: (A) a mental arithmetic test (MAT; 1600 trials of two or three figure-addition or subtraction for 40 min). (B) a short-term memory test (SMT; 20 trials of memorizing 9 digit numbers). Blood was collected before and after each workload task. After the mental workload, the recovery of mean cortisol level of subjects who consumed BEC was significantly faster than that for those consuming the placebo. The task performance of subjects performing the MAT and SMT was also improved with BEC consumption compared with placebo. According to the profile of mood state questionnaire, subjects felt more active and less fatigued during the workload when they took BEC regularly. We conclude that the extract of chicken has the potential to metabolize stress-related substance in blood and to promote recovery from mental fatigue.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Animals
  • Chickens*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Mental Fatigue / blood
  • Mental Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Mental Fatigue / therapy*
  • Poultry Products / standards*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Task Performance and Analysis


  • Hydrocortisone