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Emi Yamano, Masaaki Tanaka, Akira Ishii, Nobuo Tsuruoka, Keiichi Abe, Yasuyoshi Watanabe
Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:540-547
Fatigue is a common symptom in modern society. There has been a recent resurgence of interest in traditional remedies for fatigue. Chicken essence, which is rich in anserine and carnosine, has been widely taken in Asian countries as a traditional remedy with various aims, including attenuation of physical and mental fatigue. However, the evidence for its efficacy specifically for mental fatigue remains unclear. We examined the effect of essence of chicken on mental fatigue in humans, using our established fatigue-inducing task and evaluation methods.
Material and Methods: In this placebo-controlled crossover study, 20 healthy male volunteers were randomized to receive daily oral administration of essence of chicken or placebo drink provided by Cerebos Pacific Ltd. via Suntory holdings Ltd. for 4 weeks. The participants performed 2-back test trials as a fatigue-inducing mental task and then had a rest session. Just before and after each session, they completed cognitive task trials focusing on selective attention to evaluate the level of mental fatigue.
Results: After essence of chicken intake for 1 and 4 weeks, the reaction times on the cognitive task trials after the rest session were significantly shorter than those at baseline, and significant changes were not observed with placebo intake. The reaction times before and after the fatigue-inducing session were not altered by either essence of chicken or placebo intake.
Conclusions: We showed that daily intake of essence of chicken could be effective for the recovery from mental fatigue and is a promising candidate for use as an anti-fatigue food.