Olive and Cocoa: TOP 23 Extract may Help Lower the risk of Cognitive Decline


Olive and Cocoa

Olive and Cocoa: TOP 23 Extract may Help Lower the risk of Cognitive Decline

In older adults, cocoa extract may help lower the risk of cognitive decline.


Only those with lower-quality diets who took daily supplements containing cocoa extract experienced a slight improvement in cognitive function.

Olive and Cocoa

It’s too soon, according to researchers, to suggest taking supplements containing coca extract to enhance cognitive function.


Numerous lifestyle modifications, such as improved eating habits, frequent exercise, and proper sleeping habits, can lower the risk of dementia.

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Olive and Cocoa
Olive and Cocoa

A recent randomized clinical trial indicated that there were only slight improvements in cognitive function in older adults who took a daily supplement containing cocoa extract for two years.


However, the benefits were limited to individuals whose diet quality was lower at the beginning of the study. Healthy eating habits did not produce a comparable improvement in cognitive function.

Olive and Cocoa

“These results suggest that flavanol-rich diets or supplements could be used to improve cognitive function in older adults who have lower-quality diets,” stated Chirag Vyas, MB,BS, of the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry in Boston.


The study was conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and it was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on December 7.


advantages of cocoa extract for people who eat poorly

As a component of the larger Cocoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS), the new study comprised 573 older men and women who were randomized to receive either an inactive placebo or daily doses of cocoa extract for a two-year period.

Olive and Cocoa

The participants were about half female and 70 years old on average. Furthermore, 11% of participants said they consumed chocolate every day prior to the trial’s commencement.


The participants in the cocoa extract group were given two capsules per day, totaling 500 mg of cocoa flavanols, of which 80 mg were epicatechin.


Flavanols, or flavan-3-ols, are a subclass of flavonoids, which are plant-based compounds. Flavanols can be found in berries, apples, grapes, teas, and products made with cocoa.

Olive and Cocoa

When they were first enrolled in the study, participants underwent cognitive testing; 492 of them underwent the testing again two years later.


The group’s overall cognitive function was unaffected by daily cocoa extract supplementation, according to data that the researchers looked at.


However, those taking daily supplements of cocoa showed “comparatively better” improvements in overall cognition and executive function when compared to those whose diets were of lower quality at the beginning of the study.

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Olive and Cocoa
Olive and Cocoa

A collection of mental abilities known as executive function is required for behavior management and self-control.


The outcomes support a previous study conducted on COSMOS participants, which discovered that daily consumption of flavanols enhanced a particular kind of memory in older adults with poorer diet quality.

Olive and Cocoa

It is in contrast to another COSMOS study (Trusted Source), which discovered that while cocoa extract had no effect on overall cognition, taking a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement did.


However, the study did not examine individuals with lower quality diets in isolation.

The food company Mars, through its subsidiary Mars Edge, and Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (now Haleon) provided funding and other support for the new study. Neither business participated in the data analysis, result interpretation, or study manuscript preparation.

Too soon to suggest cocoa powder
More research is required, even though the study suggests that cocoa extra supplements may improve cognition in those with poorer diet quality.

Olive and Cocoa

“We are unable to suggest daily cocoa extract supplementation for maintaining cognitive function in light of our findings,” Vyas stated to Healthline.



“However, our results still highlight how important it is to take nutrition and diet into account in subsequent studies evaluating the effects of cocoa extract supplements on cognition,” the researcher stated.


In addition to concentrating particularly on individuals with poorer diet quality, he would like to see more diverse populations included in future research.

Olive and Cocoa

The new study is intriguing, according to Dr. Thomas Holland, a physician scientist at RUSH University in Chicago’s Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, because it focused on a particular food compound with very specific flavanols.


He compares this to research on the total dietary intake of another class of flavonoid, flavonols, which he co-authored.


He and his colleagues evaluated the participants’ flavonoid intake in that study, which was published in 2020 in Neurology Trusted Source, by carefully examining the foods they consumed, including foods high in flavonols like kale, spinach, tomatoes, olive oil, beans, and tea.


The findings of that indicated a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease development in those who ate more foods high in flavonols.


Maintaining cognitive function requires a varied diet in addition to other adjustments.


Regarding the recent study, Holland emphasized that the findings indicate that those with higher-quality diets did not benefit from taking supplements containing cocoa extract.

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Olive and Cocoa
Olive and Cocoa

According to him, this implies that people wouldn’t require the supplement if they made improvements to the quality of their diet.


But this cocoa extract, or for that matter, a multivitamin, “has the potential to bridge that nutritional gap if people are not going to improve their diets — or have a dietary deficiency, for whatever reason,” he told Healthline.

In those circumstances, he advises people to consult their physician or other healthcare professional before beginning any supplement regimen. You might be able to lower your chance of dementia, heart disease, diabetes, or another chronic illness by taking additional precautions.

Olive and Cocoa

Ultimately, Holland concluded, “keeping a healthy, varied, nutritious diet is going to be beneficial for brain health.”


Food variety is essential because different foods contain varying amounts of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals like flavonoids.


He uses arugula, spinach, onion, tomatoes, walnuts, and maybe raspberries or strawberries as the ingredients of a spring salad as an example.


Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are among the “up to 90 to 100 different vitamins, minerals, and bioactive” that he claimed this salad contained.

Olive and Cocoa

Diet can lower the risk of dementia, according to research, but as dementia is influenced by many factors, you need to use as many “tools” as possible, according to Holland.


This covers maintaining a healthy diet in addition to engaging in regular physical activity, supporting an engaged social life, engaging in cognitively stimulating activities, making sure you get enough sleep both in terms of quantity and quality, and learning stress management techniques.

Olive and Cocoa

The good news is that, in his words, “embracing these multifaceted lifestyle changes is never too early or too late.”

In a two-year randomized clinical trial, cognitive function improved in older adults taking daily supplements of cocoa extract, but only if their initial diet quality was lower.

The outcomes are consistent with past studies that showed daily consumption of flavanol, a cocoa-derived compound, enhanced cognitive function in subjects with poorer diet quality.

Olive and Cocoa

Before suggesting cocoa extract supplements for enhancing cognition, experts say more research is necessary. However, there are other strategies to lower your risk of dementia, such as maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise.


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