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Cocoa and Red Berry Supplementation May Help Improve Cognitive Function

Anthocyanins and flavanols are flavonoids, which are compounds found in colorful fruits and vegetables with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A new study suggests that supplementation with red berry anthocyanins and cocoa flavanols may help improve cognitive function in mature adults. 

Sixty healthy adults with an average age of 63 participated in the study. They consumed cocoa powder containing 200 mg of flavanols, a dried red berry powder containing 100 mg of anthocyanins, or both the cocoa and red berry powders daily for 12 weeks. They underwent a cognitive assessment at baseline and at the end of the study period to evaluate memory and executive function.

Participants in all 3 groups saw a reduction in the time needed to finish a test that assessed executive function. However, the cocoa and red berry group saw the greatest decrease. That group also saw the greatest improvements in a memory test. 

The study was conducted by researchers from the Universidad Internacional de la Rioja. It was published online ahead of print on December 21, 2021 in the journal Nutrients. 

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