The cognitive, cerebral-hemodynamic and metabolic consequences of acute resveratrol consumption

Timothy Eschle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Single doses of the stilbene polyphenol resveratrol have been shown to consistently increase cerebral blood-flow (CBF) in healthy young adults, but these have consistently been found in the absence of the hypothesized consequential cognitive function. The current study aimed to employ a mild hypoxic environment to induce cognitive deficits via a reduced supply of cerebral oxygen. It was hypothesized that the increased CBF effects of resveratrol might attenuate the hypoxia-induced cognitive impairment through increased oxygenation. In this four-arm, double blind, placebo controlled, cross-over study, 24 participants (M= 21.9 yrs) completed a series of cognitively demanding tasks at baseline and then 45 minutes after consuming either 500 mg trans-resveratrol or placebo in either normoxia (sea level) or a mild hypoxia (equivalent to 2134 m above sea level). Testing during these four visits took place in an environmental chamber across all conditions. CBF parameters were assessed in the frontal cortex throughout using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). The results of the study showed that the hypoxic condition induced significant increases in deoxygenated haemoglobin within the prefrontal cortex and mildly disrupted cognitive performance. Resveratrol amplified the effects of hypoxia on deoxygenated haemoglobin during the initial 45 minute absorption/ acclimatization period but not across task period. Despite the lack of modulation of CBF during cognitive performance, resveratrol consumption was found to lead to improvements on the Serial Subtraction task. However, this was irrespective of the environmental condition. Therefore, the altitude utilized in this model of aging was only partially successful in inducing changes to CBF parameters and decrements in cognitive ability in a young, healthy cohort. The implications for the literature will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationBPS Psychobiology Section Newsletter
PublisherThe British Psychological Society
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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