Ensuring a well-maintained memory capacity with chocolate

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For some people, a daily routine of eating chocolate may be all that is required to ensure a well-maintained memory capacity.

Indeed, a short study by Harvard researchers showed that drinking 2 cups of hot chocolate per day for 30 days was linked to an improvement to the blood flow towards the brain. Results on memory and motor skill tests for elderly people suffering from blood flow deficiency were improved.

The researchers noted that memory and blood flow to the brain are linked due to a principle called “neurovascular coupling.

« We are learning more about blood flow to the brain and its effect on reasoning abilities », according to Farzaneh A. Soron MD, Ph. D (Harvard Medical School). “As the different areas of the brain need more energy in order to carry out their tasks, they require more blood flow. This relationship, termed neurovascular coupling can play an important role in illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.”

The study, published in the « Neurology » magazine, included 60 people over age 65 with an average age of 73. Amongst these people, 18 were very weak. One half drank hot chocolate rich in flavonoids (dark chocolate rich in flavonoids) and one half drank one with low levels.

The result of the month –long study (note that participants cannot each other types of chocolate during this time) showed an improvement in the blood flow of 8, 3 % regardless of the type of hot chocolate that was consumed.

Paul Rosenberg M.D. and Can Ozan Tan Ph. D state that « from a clinical point of view, this study suggests that the positive effects of cocoa may not be due to the flavonoids. There is a considerable potential in developing polyphenols such as flavonoids ….. however, the trials remain undcertain.”