Cocoa could help protect cognitive function in older adults

Credit: Unsplash+.

A study conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital explored the potential cognitive benefits of cocoa extract supplementation in older adults.

The study aimed to understand whether daily cocoa extract supplements containing 500 mg of cocoa flavanols impacted cognitive function, particularly among older adults with varying diet qualities.

Key Findings

The study found that taking cocoa extract supplements had cognitive benefits for older adults who had lower habitual diet quality at the beginning of the study.

The overall analysis did not show cognitive benefits in terms of global or domain-specific cognitive function for participants taking cocoa extract supplements compared to those on a placebo.

Participants who already had healthy dietary patterns at the start of the study did not experience cognitive benefits from cocoa extract supplementation.

The study’s findings align with an earlier study that used web-based cognitive assessments, suggesting consistency in results across different assessment methods.

COSMOS is a large-scale, long-term clinical trial initiated by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, involving over 21,000 older women and men across the United States.

The trial aims to investigate whether daily supplements of cocoa extract or a common multivitamin can reduce the risk of various health outcomes, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and cognitive function.

This study contributes to the understanding of the potential cognitive benefits of cocoa extract supplementation in older adults, particularly those with suboptimal dietary habits.

While the overall results did not demonstrate cognitive benefits for the entire study population, the findings suggest that cocoa extract may have a protective effect on cognition in specific groups of older adults. Further research and analysis are needed to explore these effects and their underlying mechanisms.

If you care about brain health, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and blueberry supplements may prevent cognitive decline.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce dementia risk, and Coconut oil could help improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s.

The research findings can be found in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.