Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 17:24 EDT

Daily Cocoa Flavanol Consumption Shown to Improve Cognitive Function in Older Adults

August 13, 2012

GERMANTOWN, Maryland, August 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

A study conducted by researchers from the University of L’Aquila in Italy and Mars,
Incorporated provides compelling new evidence that the regular consumption of dietary
cocoa flavanols may improve cognitive function in elderly subjects with early memory
decline. Just published online in the journal Hypertension, this current study
significantly advances understanding of the benefits of flavanols by specifically
exploring the impact of regular cocoa flavanol consumption on cognitive function in a
population with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Previous research has suggested that the
benefits of cocoa flavanols could extend to the brain. However, these studies were either
only short-term or did not demonstrate a consistent cognitive benefit. This unique study
addresses this gap and provides important insights into the possibility of slowing or even
reversing cognitive declines associated with aging through consumption of these natural

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Flavanols are a group of natural compounds that are particularly abundant in cocoa. A
significant body of published research has shown that consumption of cocoa flavanols helps
support healthy circulation and cardiovascular health.

“For the first time, regular cocoa flavanol consumption has been shown to positively
affect cognitive function in older adults with early memory decline,” commented study
author Dr. Giovambattista Desideri, Director of the Geriatric Division of the University
of L’Aquila. “Importantly, the improvements in cognitive function were seen over a
relatively short period of time; and, while further research is required to confirm and
expand on these findings, this provides encouraging evidence that regular consumption of
cocoa flavanols might be effective in improving cognitive function in elderly subjects
with Mild Cognitive Impairment. The findings provide promising indications that the
development of novel dietary approaches for improving health as we age – especially
cognitive health – is a real possibility.”

        Marlene Machut
        Mars, Incorporated

        Julian Hill


SOURCE Mars, Incorporated

Source: PR Newswire