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The effect of tempeh intake on spatial memory in prediabetic rats

Annisa Ayuningtyas (Department of Nutrition Sciences, Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang, Indonesia)
Etisa Adi Murbawani (Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Diponegoro Fakultas Kedokteran, Semarang, Indonesia)
Nuryanto Nuryanto (Department of Nutrition Sciences, Universitas Diponegoro Fakultas Kedokteran, Semarang, Indonesia)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 16 November 2018

Issue publication date: 12 August 2019




Prediabetes can affect the central nervous system and lead to changes including impaired cognition and spatial memory. Isoflavones, especially genistein and daidzein, can increase spatial memory. Tempeh is a soy product with high levels of genistein and daidzein. The purpose of this paper is to determine the effect of tempeh on spatial memory of prediabetic Wistar rat.


A pre-and post-test randomised control group design was used. In total, 15 male Wistar rats were divided into three equal groups, Treatment 1 (T1), Treatment 2 (T2) and Treatment 3 (T3). All rats were injected with alloxan (120 mg/Kg body weight) to induce prediabetes. T1 was maintained on a diet of standard food for 14 days. T2 and T3 were given 9 g/200 g body weight and 18 g/200 g body weight of tempeh, respectively, for 14 days. The Morris water maze (MWM) test was used to test spatial memory.


While there were no statistically significant differences between the treatment groups, there was a difference with the tempeh-treated rats improving their spatial memory following tempeh ingestion with a decrease in the travel time to negotiate the MWM [T1(−8.36), T2 (−5.48) and T3 (3.66)]. Differences of travel time of the three groups was not significant (p = 0.677).


The result of the study indicates that tempeh may act as a functional food in reducing cognitive impairment associated with prediabetes and diabetes. However, as the result is not statistically significant, further research using animal models and human studies is warranted.



Ayuningtyas, A., Murbawani, E.A. and Nuryanto, N. (2019), "The effect of tempeh intake on spatial memory in prediabetic rats", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 49 No. 4, pp. 592-599.



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