The effect of histidine on mental fatigue and cognitive performance in subjects with high fatigue and sleep disruption scores.

May 4, 2015

Authors: Fujimura N, Furuhata Y, Nozawa Y, Sasahara I, Sato H

Journal: Physiology & Behavior

DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.04.042

Year Published: 2015

Our previous study reported that a dried bonito broth known in Japan as ‘dashi’ improved or ameliorated mood states, including fatigue, during the daily lives of human subjects. Histidine is an amino acid that is present in dried bonito broth, and we sought to evaluate whether histidine would affect feelings of fatigue in humans. We investigated the effects of histidine intake on the feeling of fatigue, mood states and mental task performance by performing a placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover trial. Twenty subjects with high fatigue and sleep disruption scores were asked to ingest histidine or a placebo every day for two weeks. The subjects’ mood states were evaluated using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) scale and a visual analog scale (VAS) for eight feelings (fatigue, depression, carelessness, drowsiness, clear thinking, motivation, attentiveness and concentration). We also measured subjects’ cognitive performance using the CogHealth test battery. The fatigue T-scores on the POMS test decreased significantly following histidine ingestion compared to placebo ingestion (p<0.05). After two weeks of histidine ingestion, the reaction time for the working memory task in the CogHealth test battery was significantly shorten compared to placebo ingestion. The VAS scores for clear thinking and for attentiveness were increased significantly following histidine ingestion compared to placebo ingestion (p<0.05). These results suggest that daily ingestion of histidine may ameliorate feelings of fatigue, increase performance during working memory tasks, and improve the clear thinking and attentiveness.

Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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