Long-term Moderate Chocolate Consumption Appears to Lower Risk of Cognitive Decline in Older People, Study Reports

Long-term Moderate Chocolate Consumption Appears to Lower Risk of Cognitive Decline in Older People, Study Reports
Chocolate consumption may protect older people from cognitive decline, possibly preventing the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to Portuguese researchers at the Institute of Molecular Medicine. However, researchers cautioned this is only true for people who drink an average of less than one espresso per day. The study, "Chocolate Consumption is Associated with a Lower Risk of Cognitive Decline," was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Chocolate consumption is widespread throughout the world. It is commonly associated with pleasure and is generally considered comfort food. Throughout history, chocolate has been used to treat a variety of health issues, including fever, diarrhea, and insomnia. More recently, studies have reported that chocolate is also good for cardiovascular and neurological health. Although chocolate has already been associated with enhanced cognition, studies often evaluate the specific components of chocolate or the effects of acute exposure to chocolate. In this study, researchers, led by Alexandre de Mendonça, evaluated the effects of long-term chocolate consumption in cognitive decline. The researchers evaluated 309 people in Porto, Portugal, ages 65 or older with normal cognitive function, as assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Their dietary habits were evaluated at baseline though a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) comprising 82 food and beverage items or groups. Chocolate items included
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