Perilla seed oil in combination with nobiletin-rich ponkan powder enhances cognitive function in healthy elderly Japanese individuals: a possible supplement for brain health in the elderly†
Perilla (Perilla frutescens) seed oil (PO), rich in α-linolenic acid (ALA), can improve cognitive function in healthy elderly Japanese people. Here, supplements containing either PO alone or PO with nobiletin-rich air-dried immature ponkan powder were examined for their effects on cognitive function in 49 healthy elderly Japanese individuals. Patients were enrolled in a 12-month randomized, double-blind, parallel-armed study. Randomized participants in the PO group received soft gelatin capsules containing 1.47 mL (0.88 g of ALA) of PO daily, and those in the PO + ponkan powder (POPP) group received soft gelatin capsules containing both 1.47 mL of PO and 1.12 g ponkan powder (2.91 mg of nobiletin) daily. At the end of intervention, the POPP group showed significantly higher cognitive index scores than the PO group. The pro-cognitive effects of POPP treatment were accompanied by increases in ALA and docosahexaenoic acid levels in red blood cell plasma membranes, serum brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) levels, and biological antioxidant potential. We demonstrate that 12-month intervention with POPP enhances serum BDNF and antioxidant potential, and may improve age-related cognitive impairment in healthy elderly people by increasing red blood cell ω-3 fatty acid levels. Clinical Trial Registry, UMIN000040863.