Effect of Polyphenol Supplementation on Memory Functioning in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

SARA ABDULLAH SALEH FARAG, CATHERINE TSANG, Emad, A, S, Al-Dujaili*, PHILIP MURPHY

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Negative health consequences of obesity include impaired neuronal functioning and cell
death, thus bringing the risk of impaired cognitive functioning. Antioxidant properties of polyphenols
offer a possible intervention for overweight people, but evidence for their effectiveness in supporting
cognitive functioning is mixed. This review examined evidence from randomized controlled
trials concerning the effect of polyphenols on tasks requiring either immediate or delayed retrieval
of learned information, respectively, thus controlling for differences in cognitive processes and related
neural substrates supporting respective task demands. Searches of the PubMed/Medline,
PsycInfo, and Scopus databases identified 24 relevant primary studies with N = 2336 participants
having a BMI ≥ 25.0 kg/m2. The participants’ mean age for the 24 studies exceeded 60 years. Respective
meta-analyses produced a significant summary effect for immediate retrieval but not for delayed
retrieval. The present findings support a potential positive effect of chronic supplementation
with polyphenols, most notably flavonoids, on immediate retrieval in participants aged over 60
years with obesity being a risk factor for cognitive impairment. We recommend further investigation
of this potential positive effect in participants with such risk factors. Future research on all populations
should report the phenolic content of the supplementation administered and be specific regarding
the cognitive processes tested.
Original languageEnglish
Article number474
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalNutrients
Volume16
Issue number474
Early online date3 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • cognition
  • memory
  • obesity
  • polyphenols
  • meta-analysis
  • systematic review

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