The paper was published last week in the journal Nutrients, in which researchers from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand investigated ‘essence of chicken’ – protein and peptides “produced via a water extraction process from chicken meat for several hours under high-temperature, followed by centrifugation to remove fat and cholesterol, vacuum concentration, and sterilization by high temperature and pressure before bottling.”
They found that Thai participants who ingested the supplement performed better than a placebo group in assessments measuring working memory (which concerns perceptual and linguistic processing) and short-term memory.
Cerebos Pacific Limited, a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited that sells health supplements, funded the study. The company markets a liquid Essence of Chicken supplement in Asia.
Consistent with earlier studies
According to the authors, essence of chicken “is used as a traditional remedy for several ailments. Its uses include improving physical qualities of athletes, providing nutrition for recovering patients and restoring strength to women following childbirth.”
However, they argued, adequately-powered clinical trials investigating the effect of essence of chicken on cognitive function are lacking.
Results of this present study is “largely consistent with earlier studies,” they added, citing a 2016 meta-analysis published in the same journal that also suggested a positive correlation between essence of chicken and cognitive function.
Another study, published in 2013, used near-infrared spectroscopy for brain function imaging and also showed “statistically significant increases of oxy-hemoglobin concentrations in several prefrontal areas of the brain during a working memory task, indicating [essence of chicken] increased brain activity in these regions during mobilization of working memory.”
The authors proposed that the benefits come from essence of chicken’s amino acids and dipeptides (carnosine and anserine), which have been studied for their antioxidant and neuroprotective activities.
Researchers recruited participants aged 18 to 45 years old with normal body mass index and no continuous consumption of essence of chicken in the preceding three months.
A total of 235 participants completed the study, which lasted for 14 days. Participants took either two bottles a day (70 mL) of the essence, one bottle of the essence and one bottle of a marine collagen placebo per day, or two bottles a day of the placebo. Both participants and researchers were blinded, meaning neither were aware about the contents of the bottle a participant was consuming.
At the beginning of the study, participants took cognitive function assessments, which were repeated at day seven and day 14 of the intervention period. These standardized tests were designed to measure memory capacity, speed, and sustained attention.
“Further research can investigate benefits on longer-term consumption of essence of chicken and clarify mechanisms and relationships between the essence, stress and cognition,” the authors added.
Published online, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10070845
Effectiveness of Essence of Chicken on Cognitive Function Improvement: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial
Authors: Panrapee Suttiwan, et al.