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September 12, 2013

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I think that this study is interesting, but the one question that I have is how many in the treatment group already had good mental health compared to the control group. Other than that I find that this study is very interesting. Maybe there will be a follow up study where they have a larger sample size.

Cocoa flavanol was thought to improve cognitive impairments by improving glucose-insulin metabolism. Aside from improving cognitive functions, cocoa products are known to improve blood pressure. Flavanol-rich cocoa products significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic pressure compared with placebo (mean reduction, 2.8/2.2 mmHg) when taking for an average of 4.4 weeks.

Seems as if cocoa is always in the news about a new scientific finding. Save the sugar and try the cocoa! No one would be able to bear the bitterness of raw cocoa, but I am sure it is healthier than eating refined candy bar.

I have learned today from a systematic review that chocolate showed improvement of serum low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol. The substances that may play a role in it are polyphenol, flavanol, proanthocyanin, or procyanidins.

Although there are many benefits from eating cocoa products such as dark chocolate, which have antioxidants and low sugar content, they are high in saturated fat. In one Hershey's Special Dark Bars there is 40% daily value of saturated fat, pretty astounding when it only comprises 190 calories of a 2000 calorie diet.

This is an interesting study. I was wondering if it was the caffeine in cocoa that was associated with better cognition. Future studies should address the chemical constituents of cocoa.

Im also wondering about the amount of caffeine in the chocolate that these patients were given. It would be interesting to compare another group who got caffeine in some form. Perhaps a fraction of a cup of coffee (with the same amount of caffeine) would have the same effect?

Some of the previously posted comments are exactly what I'm wondering myself. Is it the caffeine or the cocoa that is driving these results? If it is the cocoa, exactly how much chocolate is needed to achieve the needed amount for effect? What is the needed number for effect (609 mg or possibly a lower dose?)? Also I'm kind of curious as to what the exact proposed mechanism for increasing couplings and increasing white matter is. Very interesting study!

I also wonder how much chocolate would contain 609mg of cocoa. Chronic conditions like diabetes are very commonly seen in the elderly population. If someone who has diabetes or issues with weight will have to eat chocolate or candy bar everyday, I think that improving their cognitive function wouldn't be the first thing they go for. It's definitely an interesting idea but with outcomes like cognitive function, more studies need to be done to assess the long term benefits of cocoa.

In the study, the people in the cocoa consuming arm ingested 609mg of cocoa each day. I wonder how many candy bars that would require. I would imagine an extra dark chocolate candy bar would have enough cocoa but I would worry about weight gain from eating a candy bar every day. This is an interesting study.

It is interesting to learn about the potential benefits of cocoa for cognitive function in the elderly. Though the sample size was small, there have been plenty of studies delineating the health benefits of cocoa. Chocolate usually come in different percentages of cocoa. I am curious which percentage of cocoa would be most efficacious to improve cognitive function.

I would like to know what kind of cocoa these patients were consuming. A pill wouldn't be too bad, but consuming chocolate or something every day would be absolutely awful. I love chocolate, but the thought of consuming it every day would be gross. My experience with chocolate is it gives me a pretty intense sugar high and plummets just as quickly and makes me feel jittery. I'd think elderly people might struggle with that.

These are definitely interesting results. What I know about cocoa is that it is a good source of antioxidants and has some cardio protective properties. I'd be curious to see the effects in a long term study that made comparisons between different age groups. For example the effect of cocoa on the cognitive ability of people in their 20's versus 30's versus 40's etc...

This is a good study which shows statistical significance with it's results. I wonder what chemicals of cocoa play a role in the body to cause this cognitive benefit. It would be interesting to look at the effect on younger generation and see if it also causes increases cognitive function.

It’s an exciting finding that chocolate has been linked with increasing mental functioning in the elderly. I wonder if eating chocolate could become an adjunct treatment for people with Alzheimer’s or other age related dementia? It would be interesting if further research could tease out the constituents of chocolate that are associated with improvements in cognition. For example, caffeine already has evidence for improving cognition and alertness, and may be responsible for the positive effects of chocolate in this new study.

Very interesting study. Although cocoa is known to be beneficial in many ways, I really would like to see more research done on the effect of cognitive function. Just what my parents need - another reason to eat chocolate!

This is an interesting idea. Future research could pinpoint the amount of cocoa needed to produce these results. Cocoa contains very small quantities of caffeine. Could it be possible that in large enough quantities it is the caffeine that is accumulating to produce these results? Also, it would be interesting to test other groups of people to see if the effect is also seen.

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