Consuming chocolate was positively associated with cognitive performance on a series of tests performed by participants in the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study (MSLS), according to a study published in Appetite.
Although chocolate and cocoa flavanols have been associated with improved health and cardiovascular benefits, less is known about the effects of chocolate on neurocognition and behavior. This study aimed to investigate whether chocolate intake was associated with cognitive function, with adjustment for cardiovascular, lifestyle, and dietary factors.
Cross-sectional analyses were undertaken on 968 community-dwelling participants, aged 23–98 years, and cognitive performance was measured with an extensive battery of neuropsychological tests. More frequent chocolate consumption was significantly associated with better performance on the Global Composite score, Visual-Spatial Memory and Organization, Working Memory, Scanning and Tracking, Abstract Reasoning, and the Mini-Mental State Examination, according to the researchers.
The researchers say that further intervention trials and longitudinal studies are needed to explore relations between chocolate, cocoa flavanols, and cognition, and the underlying causal mechanisms.