Chocolate and Cocoa-Derived Biomolecules for Brain Cognition during Ageing

Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Jul 12;11(7):1353. doi: 10.3390/antiox11071353.


Cognitive decline is a common problem in older individuals, often exacerbated by neurocognitive conditions, such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, which heavily affect people’s lives and exert a substantial toll on healthcare systems. Currently, no cure is available, and commonly used treatments are aimed at limiting the progressive loss of cognitive functions. The absence of effective pharmacological treatments for the cognitive decline has led to the search for lifestyle interventions, such as diet and the use of nutraceuticals that can prevent and limit the loss of cognition. Cocoa and chocolate are foods derived from cocoa beans, commonly used in the population and with good acceptability. The purpose of this review was to collect current experimental evidence regarding the neuroprotective effect of chocolate and cocoa (or derived molecules) in the elderly. From a systematic review of the literature, 9 observational studies and 10 interventional studies were selected, suggesting that the biomolecules contained in cocoa may offer promising tools for managing cognitive decline, if provided in adequate dosages and duration of treatment. However, the molecular mechanisms of cocoa action on the central nervous system are not completely understood.

PMID:35883844 | DOI:10.3390/antiox11071353