Original Investigation

Psychopharmacology

, Volume 219, Issue 3, pp 737-749

Does coffee enriched with chlorogenic acids improve mood and cognition after acute administration in healthy elderly? A pilot study

  • Vanessa CropleyAffiliated withBrain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University of TechnologyCentre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology
  • , Rodney CroftAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, University of Wollongong Email author 
  • , Beata SilberAffiliated withNestle Research Center
  • , Chris NealeAffiliated withBrain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University of TechnologyCentre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology
  • , Andrew ScholeyAffiliated withBrain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University of TechnologyCentre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology
  • , Con StoughAffiliated withBrain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University of TechnologyCentre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology
  • , Jeroen SchmittAffiliated withNestle Research Center

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Rationale

Caffeine exerts positive effects on cognitive and behavioral processes, especially in sub-optimal conditions when arousal is low. Apart from caffeine, coffee contains other compounds including the phenolic compounds ferulic acid, caffeic acid, and the chlorogenic acids, which have purported antioxidant properties. The chlorogenic acids are the most abundant family of compounds found in coffee, yet their effects on cognition and mood have not been investigated.

Objectives

This study aims to ascertain whether a coffee rich in chlorogenic acid modulates brain function.

Methods

The present pilot study examined the acute effects of decaffeinated coffee with regular chlorogenic acid content and decaffeinated coffee with high chlorogenic acid content on mood and cognitive processes, as measured by behavioral tasks and event-related potentials (ERPs). Performance and ERP responses to a battery of cognitive tasks were recorded at baseline and following the equivalent of three cups of coffee in a randomized, double-blind, crossover study of 39 healthy older participants.

Results

Compared with the decaffeinated coffee with regular chlorogenic acid and placebo, caffeinated coffee showed a robust positive effect on higher-level mood and attention processes. To a lesser extent, the decaffeinated coffee high in chlorogenic acid also improved some mood and behavioral measures, relative to regular decaffeinated coffee.

Conclusions

Our pilot results suggest that non-caffeine compounds in coffee such as the chlorogenic acids may be capable of exerting some acute behavioral effects, thus warranting further investigation.

Keywords

Coffee Chlorogenic acid Caffeine Cognition Mood Event-related potentials