Now the chocolate lovers have got another reason to relish their favorite candies as a new study has found significant benefits of cocoa, the main ingredient of chocolate, in treating memory-related woes.
According to the researchers, people in their 50s and 60s often start developing symptoms of short-term memory loss. But some naturally occurring compounds in cocoa may help reverse such memory related occurrence.
The study was conducted by the researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center.
For the study, the researchers involved 37 healthy people who were in their age group between 50 and 69 and provided them with a cocoa flavanol-containing test drink. While some were provided with a high-flavanol diet, others received a low-flavanol diet.
The monitor the effects and changes in the brain, the researchers had conducted brain imaging both before and after the test period. The brain imaging results showed significant improvement in the brain’s dentate gyrus region, which is linked with the kind of memory loss being studied by the researchers.
The researchers, however, clarified that the positive effects of cocoa is not evident in all forms of severe memory problem including Alzheimer’s disease. The consumption of cocoa is ideal for healthy adults having no known brain related troubles beyond regular age-related memory loss.
Dr. Scott A. Small, one of the study author, said, “If a participant had the memory of a typical 60-year-old at the beginning of the study, after three months that person on average had the memory of those aged 30 or 40.”
The researchers are now working on a larger follow-up study in order to further explore the effect of cocoa on our memory.
The new study was detailed in the latest edition of Nature Neuroscience.