The Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study

[A brief reference to this item appears in: Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 3 Issue 3, October 2012].


A new study suggests that regular consumption of cocoa flavanol might improve cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), possibly by improving glucose-insulin metabolism. Mars Inc. funded the research and provided standardised cocoa drinks.

Full Text Link  (Access requires an Athens password or journal subscription).


Desideri, G. Kwik-Uribe, C. [and] Grassi, D. [et al] (2012). Benefits in cognitive function, blood pressure, and insulin resistance through cocoa flavanol consumption in elderly subjects with mild cognitive impairment: The Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) study. Hypertension. 2012; Vol.60: pp.794-801. [Epub ahead of print, August 14th 2012]. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

Recent Systematic Review

From the National Institute of Integrative Medicine, Melbourne, Australia.

Full Text Link


Ried, K. Sullivan, TR. [and] Fakler, P. [et al] (2012). Effect of cocoa on blood pressure. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Online), August 2012, Issue 8, No. CD008893. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

Earlier Research in this Broad Area: Chocolate and Cocoa-Related References (Source: Medline)

  1. Fisher, ND. Sorond, FA. Hollenberg, NK. Cocoa flavanols and brain perfusion. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. 2006; 47 Suppl 2: S210-4.
  2. Dinges, DF. Cocoa flavanols, cerebral blood flow, cognition, and health: going forward. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. 2006; 47 Supplement 2: S221-3.
  3. Cho, ES. Jang, YJ. Kang, NJ. [et al]. Cocoa procyanidins attenuate 4-hydroxynonenal-induced apoptosis of PC12 cells by directly inhibiting mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 activity. Journal of Free Radicals in Biology & Medicine. May 15th 2009; 46(10): 1319-27.
  4. Francis, ST. Head, K. Morris, PG. [et al]. The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on the fMRI response to a cognitive task in healthy young people. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. 2006; 47 Suppl 2: S215-20.
  5. Bisson, JF. Nejdi, A. Rozan, P. [et al]. Effects of long-term administration of a cocoa polyphenolic extract (Acticoa powder) on cognitive performances in aged rats. The British Journal of Nutrition. July 2008; 100(1): 94-101. Epub January 8th 2008.
  6. Fernández-Fernández, L. Comes, G. Bolea, I. [et al]. LMN diet, rich in polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids, improves mouse cognitive decline associated with aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Behavioural Brain Research. March 17th 2012; 228(2): 261-71. Epub November 22nd 2011.
  7. Nehlig, A. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. July 10th 2012. [Epub ahead of print].
  8. McCarty MF, Barroso-Aranda J, Contreras F. Potential complementarity of high-flavanol cocoa powder and spirulina for health protection. Medical Hypotheses. 2010 Feb;74(2):370-3. [Epub July 3rd 2009].
  9. Ghosh, D. Scheepens, A. Vascular action of polyphenols. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. March 2009; 53(3): 322-31. Review.

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
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