, Volume 219, Issue 3, pp 737–749 | Cite as

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

  • Vanessa Cropley
  • Rodney CroftEmail author
  • Beata Silber
  • Chris Neale
  • Andrew Scholey
  • Con Stough
  • Jeroen Schmitt
Original Investigation



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.


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


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.


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.


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.


Coffee Chlorogenic acid Caffeine Cognition Mood Event-related potentials 



The coffee products were provided free of charge by Nestle Research Center. This research was funded by Nestec Ltd (Nestle Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland). BYS and JAJS are employees of Nestlé. Nestec, through employees BYS and JAJS, was involved in the concept of the study, the trial design, monitoring of data, interpretation and the writing, and approval of the report. The authors have full control of all primary data. The other authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Sources of support/disclosure statement

This research was funded by Nestec Ltd (Nestle Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland). BYS and JAJS are employees of Nestlé. The other authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanessa Cropley
    • 1
    • 4
  • Rodney Croft
    • 2
    Email author
  • Beata Silber
    • 3
  • Chris Neale
    • 1
    • 4
  • Andrew Scholey
    • 1
    • 4
  • Con Stough
    • 1
    • 4
  • Jeroen Schmitt
    • 3
  1. 1.Brain Sciences InstituteSwinburne University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  3. 3.Nestle Research CenterLausanneSwitzerland
  4. 4.Centre for Human PsychopharmacologySwinburne University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

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