October 2016 – Scientific research carried out by Haley Young and David Benton from the Department of Psychology, Swansea University, Wales¹, shows that a Palatinose™-based breakfast beneficially influences children’s memory and mood throughout the morning. The study highlights that starting the day with the right choice of carbohydrates can help children perform well at school.
The randomised, double-blind, cross-over study was conducted with 75 school children aged 5 to 11 years. On two occasions, at least one week apart, the children consumed a breakfast including cornflakes, milk, yoghurt, jam and orange juice. It was identical in calorie count, as well as macronutrient composition and was either prepared with BENEO’s Palatinose™ or glucose (providing in total 41g of carbohydrate). The children’s mood and cognitive performance were assessed in test blocks, one and three hours after breakfast.
The results showed that although both groups of children initially did well after breakfast, those eating the Palatinose™-breakfast maintained significantly better memory performance later in the morning than those consuming the glucose-breakfast, both in immediate and delayed memory tests. Moreover, the children who had consumed the Palatinose™-breakfast were in a better mood later in the morning, i.e. rating their mood as significantly better, compared to those who had eaten the glucose breakfast.
Carbohydrates and their glucose supply are known to play an important role in cognitive functions, however, this study has highlighted that not only is carbohydrate intake important for brain function, but also the type of carbohydrate chosen can be integral. Anke Sentko, Vice President Regulatory Affairs and Nutrition Communication, comments: “The study’s results show that BENEO’s slow release carbohydrate Palatinose™ can make a difference to cognitive performance and mood in children. We know that children around the age of 4 to 10 years have a much higher rate of brain glucose utilisation than adults and seem to be particularly susceptible to the differing effects of glucose release. Accordingly, children’s cognitive functions benefit most from the replacement of fast glucose release carbohydrates with the slow and sustained glucose supply of Palatinose™. The study highlights that starting the day with the right choice of carbohydrates can make all the difference to performance.”
The study’s findings are in line with previous observations from the same researchers² that showed the benefits of Palatinose™ for enhancing mood and memory amongst middle aged and older adults.
BENEO’s Palatinose™ (generic name isomaltulose) is a fully digestible disaccharide-type carbohydrate composed of glucose and fructose. Due to its unique linkage, it is fully yet slowly digested and absorbed, providing balanced and sustained energy with a lower blood glucose rise and less insulin release. Consequently, Palatinose™ creates an improved metabolic profile with more stable blood glucose levels. Its low glycaemic characteristics have been acknowledged by EFSA and resulted in an approved EU health claim. Being derived from beet sugar it has a mild sugar-like sweetening profile and can be used as a sugar alternative, replacing sucrose or other high glycaemic carbohydrates on a gram-to-gram basis.
¹Funded by BENEO and published in the European Journal of Nutrition in 2015. Young H, Benton D (2015) The effect of using isomaltulose (Palatinose™) to modulate the glycaemic properties of breakfast on the cognitive performance of children. Eur J Nutr 54 (6) 1013–1020. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007%2Fs00394-014-0779-8
²Source: Young H, Benton D (2014) The glycemic load of meals, cognition and mood in middle and older aged adults with differences in glucose tolerance: A randomized trial. e-SPEN Journal 9(4):e147-e154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnme.2014.04.003