Dietary Cocoa Flavanols and Age-Related Memory Decline

Age Range: 50-69
Duration: 12 Weeks
Compensation: $310


This research study tests the effects of cocoa flavanols on cognition and brain activity. First, we will perform a phone screen to see if you meet our eligibility criteria. If you do, we will invite you to meet with us at the Columbia University Medical Center campus to sign a consent form and other paperwork and complete an attention and memory task. After the consent appointment, we will schedule a cognitive testing session where you will complete computerized tests to assess your memory and other cognitive abilities. On the day of the cognitive testing, you will begin a two week orientation phase in which you will be asked to consume 2 cocoa flavanol capsules twice per day (total of 4 capsules per day). 

On the basis of the completed cocoa capsule consumption, you will be scheduled for a cognitive testing session, a blood draw, and a MRI scan of your brain. After these appointments you will be randomly assigned to one of four groups taking varying amounts of cocoa flavanols. Regardless of the group you are in, you will be asked to take 2 cocoa capsules twice a day for 12 weeks. Everyone will receive 0 mg of cocoa flavanols at some point in the study and some will receive 0 mg throughout the study. 

After the 12 weeks of cocoa consumption, you will return to the Medical Center for a fasting blood draw, a cognitive testing session, and a MRI scan.


Click here to complete our Eligibility Screen!

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All the information you enter will be recorded in a secure, password-protected internet database which we use to store all participant data. Your information will be kept confidential; access to this information is limited to members of our research staff who are bound to maintain participants’ confidentiality as directed by our Institutional Review Board.