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Chicken Meat Extract Can Benefit the Human Brain

04 October 2013

A study by researchers from the University of Putra in Malaysia shows that the chicken ingredient, CMI-168, has beneficial effects on the human brain.

The research team of Zain M. Azhar, Jamil O. Zubaidah, Khin O.N. Norjan, with Candy Yi-Jing Zhuang and Fai Tsang from Cerebos found that the benefit might be associated with its ability to maintain effective cognitive resources in attention- and PFC-related executive functions, as well as memory processes that facilitate consolidation and storage of newly learned information.

The team said that the initial evidence warrants further investigation into the selectivity of the effects of CMI-168 in specific cognitive processes in the pre-frontal cortex, as well as hippocampus in the learning process.

The research that is published in Nutrition Journal said that it has long been postulated that the relative abundance of specific nutrients can affect cognitive processes and emotions.

Newly described influences of dietary factors on neuronal function and synaptic plasticity have revealed some of the vital mechanisms that could be responsible for the action of diet on brain health and cognitive function.

“Although food has classically been perceived as means to provide energy and building materials to the body, its ability to prevent and protect against diseases is starting to be recognised,” the study says.

“In particular, over the past decade, research has provided exciting evidence for the influence of dietary factors on maintenance of cognitive function.”

Through a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, the researchers asked if the newly discovered chicken meat ingredient-168 (CMI-168) could be beneficial to the cognitive function in healthy adults.

The study adds: “Essence of Chicken (EOC) is an aqueous extract of chicken meat with a long history of consumption across Asian populations.

“Anecdotal evidence has long associated EOC with improving cognitive performance, especially related to learning and memory, as well as executive function.

“Published research over the last decade has lent significant support to its benefits in cognitive performance, particularly in the area of working memory, attention and episodic memory.

“EOC, that is abundant in proteins, amino acids and peptides, is prepared through a unique process that involves aqueous extraction of chicken meat at a specific environment (e.g. temperature).

“Besides, it also contains bioactive peptides such as carnosine and anserine which are effective antioxidants and could have other physiological benefits to human health.”

Normal, healthy subjects were supplemented with either placebo or CMI-168 for six weeks.

The subjects were given a series of cognitive tests to examine their levels of cognitive functioning at the beginning and end of supplementation, as well as two weeks after termination of supplementation.

The combination of these tests, namely Digit Span Backwards, Letter-Number Sequencing, and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test RAVLT), was used to assess the subjects’ attention and working memory.

For all comparisons, the five per cent probability level was taken as statistically significant using repeated measure two-way ANOVA followed by Bonferroni post-hoc test.

Overall, subjects supplemented with CMI-168 showed significantly (p<0.01) better performance in all cognitive tests after six weeks’ supplementation than the control and such superior performance was maintained even two weeks after termination of supplementation.


Azhar Z.M., J.O. Zubaidah, K.O.N. Norjan, C.Y. Zhuang and F. Tsang. 2013. A pilot placebo-controlled, double-blind, and randomized study on the cognition-enhancing benefits of a proprietary chicken meat ingredient in healthy subjects. Nutrition Journal. 12:121.

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October 2013

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