The recently discovered ingredient, known as CMI-168, is a hydrolyzed chicken extract prepared from chicken meat that had been processed by a proprietary technology, involving bio-processing and aqueous extraction.
Researchers from the University of Putra Malaysia and Cerebos Pacific Limited noted a long history of consuming aqueous extracts of chicken meat (known as Essence of Chicken) in Asian populations - with much anecdotal evidence that the extract improves cognitive performance, "especially related to learning and memory, as well as executive function."
"This prompted further research to identify potential bioactives that could have cognition-enhancing benefits and resulted in the development of a hydrolyzed chicken extract, namely chicken meat ingredient-168 (CMI-168), designed for cognitionenhancing benefits," said the authors - led by Zain Azhar.
Writing in Nutrition Journal the team report the results of a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomised pilot study that tested the possible cognitive benefits of CMI-168.
Azhar and colleagues randomly assigned 46 healthy participants to recieve supplementation with either placebo or CMI-168 for six weeks.
Cognitive performance of the subjects was examined using a battery of cognitive tasks selectively assessing their working memory and attention immediately before and after the supplementation, as well as two weeks after the course of supplementation.
"This post-supplementation assessment was helpful to determine whether the benefits (if any) could be a result of sustainable optimisation of cognitive function by CMI-168," the authors said.
Supplementation with CMI-168 led to significantly better performance in all cognitive tests after 6 weeks' compared to control - and revealed that this 'superior performance' was maintained even two weeks after termination of supplementation.
"The present study reveals initial evidence supporting the cognition-enhancing efficacy of a proprietary chicken meat ingredient, CMI-168, in humans," said Azhar and his team. "This benefit might be associated with its ability to maintain effective cognitive resources in attention- and PFC-related executive functions, as well as memory processes that facilitate consolidation and storage of newly learned information."
"This initial evidence warrants further investigation into the selectivity of the effects of CMI-168 in specific cognitive processes in the prefrontal cortex, as well as hippocampus in the learning process."