This study investigated 10 weeks of β-alanine (BA) supplementation on changes in cognitive function, mood, and physical performance in 100 older adults (70.6 ± 8.7 y). Participants were randomized into a BA (2.4 g·d−1) or placebo (PL) group. Testing occurred prior to supplementation (PRE), at the midpoint (MID), and at week-10 (POST). Participants completed cognitive function assessments, including the Montreal cognitive assessment (MOCA) and the Stroop pattern recognition test, at each testing session. Behavioral questionnaires [i.e., the profile of mood states, geriatric depression scale (GDS), and geriatric anxiety scale (GAS)] and physical function assessments (grip strength and timed sit-to-stand) were also conducted. No difference between groups was noted in MoCA scores (p = 0.19). However, when examining participants whose MOCA scores at PRE were at or below normal (i.e., ≤26), participants in BA experienced significant improvements in MOCA scores at MID (13.6%, p = 0.009) and POST (11.8%, p = 0.016), compared to PL. No differences were noted in mood scores, GAS, or any of the physical performance measures. A significant decrease was observed in the GDS for participants consuming BA but not in PL. Results suggested that BA supplementation can improve cognitive function in older adults whose cognitive function at baseline was at or below normal and possibly reduce depression scores.
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- pattern recognition