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Cocoa Extract Supplement Found to Have Benefits for Cognition Among Older Adults with Lower Diet Quality

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12/12/2023
lifetechnology.com
Cocoa Extract Supplement Benefits for Cognition in Older Adults

Cocoa Extract Supplement Found to Have Benefits for Cognition Among Older Adults with Lower Diet Quality

As we age, maintaining cognitive function becomes increasingly important. A recent study has found that cocoa extract supplements can have significant benefits for cognition, particularly among older adults with lower diet quality.

The Study

The study, conducted by researchers at a renowned university, aimed to investigate the effects of cocoa extract supplementation on cognitive function in older adults. The participants were divided into two groups: one group received a daily cocoa extract supplement, while the other group received a placebo.

Importantly, the researchers also assessed the participants' diet quality using a standardized questionnaire. This allowed them to determine whether the benefits of cocoa extract supplementation were more pronounced in individuals with lower diet quality.

The Results

The results of the study were promising. The group that received the cocoa extract supplement showed significant improvements in cognitive function compared to the placebo group. These improvements were particularly evident in individuals with lower diet quality.

Specifically, participants who had a lower diet quality and received the cocoa extract supplement demonstrated enhanced memory, attention, and overall cognitive performance. This suggests that cocoa extract supplementation can help offset the negative effects of a poor diet on cognitive function in older adults.

The Mechanism

So, what makes cocoa extract beneficial for cognition? Cocoa is rich in flavanols, which are natural compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These flavanols have been shown to improve blood flow to the brain, enhance neuronal function, and protect against age-related cognitive decline.

Furthermore, cocoa extract contains other bioactive compounds that can positively influence brain health. For example, it contains methylxanthines, such as caffeine and theobromine, which can enhance alertness and cognitive performance.

Implications and Recommendations

The findings of this study have important implications for older adults, especially those with lower diet quality. Incorporating cocoa extract supplements into their daily routine may help improve cognitive function and mitigate the negative effects of an unhealthy diet.

However, it is important to note that cocoa extract supplements should not be seen as a replacement for a balanced diet. A healthy and varied diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, remains crucial for overall health and cognitive function.

Before starting any new supplement regimen, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide personalized recommendations based on individual health conditions and medication interactions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, cocoa extract supplementation has been found to have significant benefits for cognition, particularly among older adults with lower diet quality. The flavanols and other bioactive compounds present in cocoa extract can improve blood flow to the brain, enhance neuronal function, and protect against age-related cognitive decline.

While cocoa extract supplements can be a valuable addition to a healthy lifestyle, they should not replace a balanced diet. It is important to prioritize a nutritious diet and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

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