Cocoa flavonoids may slow cognitive decline

A diet rich in cocoa flavanols, natural substances found in cocoa beans, may slow age-associated cognitive decline, according to a study. Aging is generally associated with greater difficulty learning or remembering certain names or places.
This gradual decline in memory begins in adulthood, but is not noticeable until the age of 50 or 60.
To study the impact of cocoa flavonoids, researchers from Columbia University, USA, tested 37 volunteers aged 50 to 69 years. The study was published in the British scientific journal “Nature Neuroscience”.
The volunteers were divided into two groups, and for three months they received a daily drink containing a high (900 mg) or low (10 mg) dose of flavonoids. The drinks were prepared by an American manufacturer of chocolate bars that has a technique to extract flavonoids. The study was funded by the same manufacturer.

Increased blood volume

After the test, the volunteers’ brains were observed by imaging techniques that showed a significant increase in blood volume in the dentate gyrus, a key part of the hippocampus, in the volunteers in the first group. The dentate gyrus plays a role in memory, but its performance declines with age.

Then, subjected to a pattern recognition exercise for a period of 20 minutes, the volunteers in the first group also showed better memory capacity.

“After three months, a participant, who had memory similar to that of a 60-year-old person at the start of the study, was able to acquire the memory equivalent of a 30- or 40-year-old person,” said Scott Small, lead author of the study.

But he stressed that these preliminary results must be confirmed by further studies in a larger number of people.

He also warns that we shouldn’t conclude that we need to increase chocolate consumption, since “the amount of flavonoids found in chocolate is small compared to what was consumed” by the study volunteers.

See also our cocoa page .

Also Read: 10 Foods Rich in Flavonoids

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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