Accession Number:

ADA440833

Title:

Nutrition, Brain Function and Cognitive Performance

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA MILITARY NUTRITION DIV

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2003-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

11.0

Abstract:

Military interest in the effects of nutritional factors on cognitive function has stimulated considerable research on a variety of food constituents. This paper will review the research on the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine, caffeine and carbohydrate. It will focus on research that addresses the potential utility of these compounds in military applications, particularly the acute, as opposed to chronic, effects of these substances on cogninve functions such as alertness, vigilance, and resistance to stress. Caffeine, the most intensively studied food constituent, has unequivocal beneficial effects on vigilance, and in sleep deprived individuals it enhances other cogninve functions as well. Tryptophan, although it clearly has sedative-like properties, has not been extensively studied by military laboratories for use as a hypnotic, due to safety concerns. Tyrosine has been examned in animal models and human studies, and appears to prevent the substantial decline in various cognitive performance and mood associated with many kinds of acute stress. Carbohydrate supplementation appears to enhance cognitive performance in soldiers engaged in sustained, intense physical activities that expend high levels of energy

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Food, Food Service and Nutrition

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE