New Study Shows Cocoa Flavanols Restore Memory in Adults with Low Flavanol Diets

An important new study of over 3,500 adults by researchers from Columbia University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard (part of the COSMOS study) found diets low in flavanols to be associated with age related memory loss. The study found that replenishing these nutrients with 500mg of cocoa flavanols, daily, improved performance on memory tests by an average of 10.5% compared to placebo and 16% compared to their memory at baseline. Improvements observed at one year were sustained for at least two more years.

“There’s increasing evidence that certain nutrients are important for the aging body and brain”, noted study investigator Scott Small, MD, the Boris and Rose Katz Professor of Neurology, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “These findings represent the beginning of a new era that will eventually lead to formal recommendations related to ideal intake of flavanols to reduce cognitive aging”. The findings were published online in the Proceeding of the National of Academy of Science.

This study reinforced the learning’s of prior cognitive studies at Columbia indicating that cocoa flavanols benefits begin to kick in at about 500mg daily, especially in people with low flavanols diets. The earlier studies showed even greater cognitive gains with consumption of between 750mg and 900mg daily!