A new study shows that chocolate, among others things, has a positive effect on the memory.
The study was conducted by The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study (MSLS) and is good news to all chocolate lovers.
More frequent chocolate eating among the 968 participants aged 23-98 years in the study, was associated with, including improved visual memory and organization, better working memory and better abstract reasoning.
The researchers also found that chocolate can help prevent age-related cognitive decline, writes the Telegraph.
Researcher Sidsel Fiskaa Hagen, at the food research institute Nofima, believes these are interesting findings.
She explains that cocoa is rich of the plant substances flavonoids, especially subgroup flavanols, which have shown a beneficial effect on the regulation of blood pressure and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Flavanols are also including green tea, berries and red wine.
- There are several studies that suggest that regular consumption of flavanols may be beneficial for brain functions that have to do with learning and memory making. But it is absolutely necessary to do more research before we can know for sure if and how this correlates, she says.
Flavanols are absorbed into the blood and are among the relatively few links that can pass the so-called brain barrier. It is therefore possible that these substances may affect brain function at the molecular level, in addition to improving the blood flow in the brain.
It is not the first time chocolate is associated with health beneficial effects. Less well known is the effect of chocolate on neurocognition and behavior - which was the reason for this study.
The researchers do however agree with Hagen, and it say in the study that there is need for further research to explore the relationship between chocolate and cognitive function to understand the underlying mechanisms.
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