Effects of glucose load on cognitive functions in elderly people

N.L. van der Zwaluw, O. van de Rest, R.P.C. Kessels, C.P.G.M. de Groot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Glucose is the main fuel for the brain, and manipulation of the glucose supply may consequently affect brain function. The present review was conducted to provide an overview of studies that investigated the acute effects of glucose load on memory and other cognitive functions in elderly people. The effects of sucrose on cognition and suggested mechanisms were also explored. A total of twenty studies met the inclusion criteria. In the majority of studies, episodic memory was investigated and a beneficial role for glucose in that specific cognitive domain was suggested. Other cognitive domains, i.e., working memory, semantic memory, visual memory, information-processing speed, attention, executive function, and visual/spatial function, have been studied less frequently and evidence for a beneficial effect of glucose was equivocal. Mechanisms are suggested to be mainly related to the human body’s need for glucose as a metabolic substrate for physiological mechanisms in both central and peripheral processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-105
JournalNutrition Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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