March 2015

Cocoa Benefits Mental Health

A new study suggests that cocoa might help maintain cognitive function in older people.

Older participants without mental problems were randomly assigned to drink one of three drinks containing high, moderate, or low amounts of cocoa flavanols. The drink with the most cocoa, 993 mg of cocoa flavanols, resulted in significantly improved cognitive function scores. Cocoa also improved insulin resistance and blood pressure. The authors of the study concluded that regular cocoa consumption might help reduce age-related cognitive decline. For more information about cocoa, view our complete monograph.


  1. Mastroiacovo D, Kwik-Uribe C, Grassi D, et al. Cocoa flavanol consumption improves cognitive function, blood pressure control, and metabolic profile in elderly subjects: the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study-a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Mar;101(3):538-48

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