A component of chicken meat may improve cognitive or mental function, claims a recent study.
A number of natural products have been used from time immemorial to improve memory and learning capabilities. Some of these like gingko biloba have been found to provide some benefits. Many others are popular without any evidence.
AdvertisementAn aqueous extract of chicken called the essence of chicken that is produced under certain conditions is known to improve cognitive performance in terms of working memory, attention and episodic memory. The extract is rich in protein and antioxidants. Research has led to the development of a similar chicken extract called chicken meat ingredient-168 (CMI-168). This is produced in a manner similar to essence of chicken, but with a more advanced and optimized process. Prior data from studies in mice had indicated that the extract improves learning and memory functions.
Researchers studied the cognition-enhancing effects of CMI-168 when administered to healthy individuals for a period of 6 weeks in a study conducted in Malaysia. Some individuals served as controls. The CMI-168 was administered in the form of tablets. Each subject was administered 2 tablets containing a total of 670 mg of CMI-168 per day. The controls received similar inert tablets.
The subjects had to undergo psychological assessments and tests for cognitive function at the beginning of the study and at the end i.e. at 6 weeks. The tests were also repeated at 8 weeks to see if the effects of the preparation lasted beyond the intake of the supplementation.
A total of 20 subjects completed the study. Out of these, 10 received the supplementation while 10 others belonged to the control group. None of the subjects suffered from any side effects due to the medication.
The results indicated that people who took the supplement performed significantly better in tests that assessed their attention and working memory. These subjects appeared to have a higher level of concentration. The effect was maintained even 2 weeks after the supplementation was stopped. The immediate memory related to new verbal learning and the ability to retain information was also significantly better in those who took the supplement.
Thus, the researchers feel that CMI-168 could help to improve cognitive functions. However, this was only a pilot study conducted on very few individuals. The actual effect of the extract can only be confirmed if the study is repeated in a larger number of individuals. It would also be necessary to ensure that vegetarians are not prescribed the extract by mistake or without their informed consent.