The effect of glucose dose and fasting interval on cognitive function: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, six-way crossover study

Lauren Owen, Andrew B. Scholey, Yvonne Finnegan, Henglong Hu, Sandra I. Sünram-Lea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale Previous research has identified a number of factors that appear to moderate the behavioural response to glucose administration. These include physiological state, dose, types of cognitive tasks used and level of cognitive demand. Another potential moderating factor is the length of the fasting interval prior to a glucose load. Objectives Therefore, we aimed to examine the effect of glucose dose and fasting interval on mood and cognitive function. Methods The current study utilised a double-blind, placebo-controlled, balanced, six period crossover design to examine potential interactions between length of fasting interval (2 versus 12 hours) and optimal dose for cognition enhancement. Results Results demonstrated that the higher dose (60 g) increased working memory performance following an overnight fast, whereas the lower dose (25 g) enhanced working memory performance following a 2-h fast. Conclusions The data suggest that optimal glucose dosage may differ under different conditions of depleted blood glucose resources. In addition, glucoregulation was observed to be a moderating factor. However, further research is needed to develop a model of the moderating and mediating factors under which glucose facilitation is best achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-589
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Cognitive
  • Glucose
  • Metabolism

Cite this