Effects of differences in postprandial glycaemia on cognitive functions in healthy middle aged subjects

Anne Nilsson, Karl Radeborg, Inger Björck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (SciVal)


Objective: To find useful methods for the studies of cognitive function during a postprandial period, and to use these methods to evaluate function after test meals differing in post meal glycaemia.

Subjects/Methods: Forty healthy volunteers aged 49–70 years were studied. A glucose solution (glucose 50 g) was provided through either a bolus or sipping regimen at breakfast to simulate a high-GI or a low-GI breakfast, respectively. Cognitive tests of working memory (WM) were performed at 35, 90, 120 and 150 min after commencing the breakfast, and a test of selective attention (SA) was performed at 170 min.

Results: Subjects with higher glucose tolerance performed better in the cognitive tests (P<0.05). After entering glucose tolerance as covariate, the subjects performed better in the working memory test at 90 min (P<0.034) and in the selective attention test at 170 min (P<0.017) after the simulated low-glycaemic index (GI) breakfast compared with the simulated high-GI breakfast.

Conclusion: Possibly, the cognitive functions tested were enhanced by avoiding a sharp decline in blood glucose concentration and by maintaining a higher glycaemia in the late postprandial period, respectively. A low-GI diet is preferable in the prevention of the risk of cognitive decline as a result of less efficient glucose regulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-120
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry (011001300), Department of Psychology (012010000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • glucose response
  • breakfast
  • cognitive performance
  • selective attention
  • glucose tolerance
  • working memory


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