Drinking cocoa can ward off dementia.

Cocoa can stave off dementia

Cocoa can stave off dementia

Boffins in the United States found that over-65s who took daily cocoa extract supplements performed better in thinking tests, although the effects were only seen if they had a lower-quality diet.

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, both located in Boston, asked 573 people over the age of 65 and above to take daily supplements containing either 500mg of cocoa flavanols or a placebo without the cocoa.

Cognitive tests were carried out on participants in person at the end of the study and found some improvement in those who had "lower habitual diet quality".

Although the study did not directly look at the chance of developing dementia, subtle decline in cognitive function has been linked to an increased risk of the disease in later life.