New Study Review Suggests Cocoa Flavanols Promote Cognition

A recent systematic review of 19 studies concluded “cocoa flavanols may be a promising tool for managing cognitive decline”.

Many of us have celebrated individual studies from Columbia and other research centers showing cognitive benefits with daily cocoa flavanol consumption.  But, of course, there have been a few negative trials as well; particularly those studying lower levels of cocoa flavanols (500mg or less daily). This is why it is helpful for independent researchers to review multiple studies together. 

This systematic review of 19 cocoa flavanol trials on cognition published in the Journal of Antioxidants, evaluated results from studies including over two hundred thousand participants! Three key study takeaways from the researchers are:

  • Improvements in executive cognitive function, processing speed and working memory were generally observed in studies where participants consumed cocoa drinks containing 500-900mg of cocoa flavanols.
  • 8 of the 9 observational studies found a correlation between cognitive function and chocolate consumption
  • Cognitive benefits in controlled studies generally coincided with improvements in blood pressure and insulin resistance

You can read the full paper at