FEB 24, 2016 4:57 AM PST

Chocolate Is The New Brain Food

There have been more than a few studies that tout the benefits of chocolate for health.  A study released in June 2015 in the United Kingdom suggested that individuals who ate more than 3.5 ounces of chocolate a day (that’s about two full Hershey bars for those who are counting) had a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who ate little or no chocolate.
Chocolate lovers show better cognition
The latest study to come out with information on chocolate and health benefits was conducted using data from the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study (MSLS) that has been tracking nearly 1000 participants for over 30 years. The study includes detailed data about the health habits, diet, exercise and other factors covering almost every part of the participant’s daily lives and how those factors influence aging, cognitive function and cardiovascular health.
 
Study author Georgina E. Crichton from the Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA) at the Sansom Institute for Health at the University of South Australia said in a press release, “Chocolate and cocoa flavanols have been associated with improvements in a range of health complaints dating from ancient times, and have established cardiovascular benefits, but less is known about the effects of chocolate on neurocognition and behavior. We examined whether habitual chocolate intake was associated with cognitive function (brain function - memory, concentration, reasoning, information processing), in nearly 1,000 individuals in the MSLS and found that those who ate chocolate at least once per week (or more), performed better on multiple cognitive tasks, compared to those who ate chocolate less than once per week.” 
 
Crichton stated that the research was conducted using cognitive testing that evaluated verbal memory, scanning and tracking, visual-spatial memory and organization and abstract reasoning. Much of the testing involved having to recall where an object was placed, recall a list or words or process information needed to solve puzzles. What makes the results significant is that the data was not sorted out into groups of age, sex, or health. Across the board, those who consumed chocolate did better on cognitive measures, regardless of other factors.
 
The problem with this study and many others that suggest chocolate consumption can prevent diseases is that it’s observational. Studies that rely on participants filling out questionnaires about their health and eating habits cannot show cause and effect. They can merely show an association between two things. The researchers stressed that more research into flavanols is necessary to see if other foods that contain them, such as apples, blueberries and onions and beverages like green tea and red wine.  Also, since chocolate can contain large amounts of sugar and fat, it should be part of an overall healthy diet. Check out the video below to see more information on this new research.
 
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUL 07, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Experts Reach Consensus on Dosing Cannabis for Chronic Pain
JUL 07, 2021
Experts Reach Consensus on Dosing Cannabis for Chronic Pain
Twenty cannabis experts from across the globe have reached a consensus on how medical cannabis may be used to treat chro ...
JUL 08, 2021
Neuroscience
Tooth Loss Linked to Cognitive Decline and Dementia
JUL 08, 2021
Tooth Loss Linked to Cognitive Decline and Dementia
A person’s risk of cognitive decline grows with each tooth lost, says a new study published in JAMDA: The Jou ...
JUL 29, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Calcium Seems to Control Blood Flow in the Brain
JUL 29, 2021
Calcium Seems to Control Blood Flow in the Brain
The brain is packed with neurons that are constantly in need of power, but there isn't really anywhere to store energy. ...
AUG 10, 2021
Health & Medicine
Soccer players, CTE, and Neurodegenerative disease
AUG 10, 2021
Soccer players, CTE, and Neurodegenerative disease
New research suggests positions and career length of soccer players could influence the development of neurodegenerative ...
AUG 25, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
A Possible Treatment Strategy for Familial Alzheimer's is ID'ed
AUG 25, 2021
A Possible Treatment Strategy for Familial Alzheimer's is ID'ed
Some cases of Alzheimers disease (AD) are known as Familial AD because they are due to genetic mutations. So far, mutati ...
SEP 14, 2021
Immunology
Extinguishing Fires in the Brains of MS Patients
SEP 14, 2021
Extinguishing Fires in the Brains of MS Patients
  A closer look at the brains of patients with aggressive, debilitating forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) reveals so ...
Loading Comments...