Pecan Consumption and Cognitive Function

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Georgia
Updated on 20 September 2023
Accepts healthy volunteers


Human cognitive function is affected by age-related changes, with some areas beginning to decline in mid-adulthood and worsening with age. However, there is evidence that dietary interventions or the incorporation of certain healthy foods or nutrients, into the diet can have protective effects against cognitive decline. These foods include nutrients such as polyunsaturated fats, vitamins E and C, and polyphenols. Pecans are a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants (including polyphenols), and vitamin E. Pecans contain more total phenols than any other tree nut suggesting that they may be an ideal bioactive food to enhance cognitive performance; however, the relationship between pecan consumption and cognitive functioning has never been assessed. The overall goal behind this research is to determine the relationship between antioxidant-rich pecans and cognitive functioning in a postprandial state.


This trial will be a double-blinded, randomized, cross-over design in humans. There will be two study visits for two different test meals administered in random order. The two testing visits (v1 and v2) include blood draws and repetitions of the cognitive battery after consuming one of the two different test meals containing 1% milk, Nesquik, and either: 1) pecans, or 2) heavy whipping cream. There will be a 6-8 day washout period between each study visit.

Hypothesis: Investigators hypothesize that the pecan-enriched meal will 1.) improve performance on select measures of postprandial cognitive functioning (such as executive functioning, memory, learning, attention, and processing speed) 2.) improve postprandial markers of glycemic control, inflammation, antioxidant capacity, coagulation potential, and 3.) present a similar suppression of subjective appetite compared to the isocaloric, control meal that does not contain pecans.

Condition Healthy
Treatment Pecan Breakfast Shake, Cream Breakfast Shake
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05230212
SponsorUniversity of Georgia
Last Modified on20 September 2023

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