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Flavanols In Cocoa May Boost Memory, But Buying Chocolates Won’t Help: Study

Flavanols In Cocoa May Boost Memory, But Buying Chocolates Won't Help: Study

Scientists have suggested consuming a supplement of 500mg of flavanols daily.

Having foods which are rich in antioxidant compound flavanol can improve age-related mental decline, a new study has claimed. Green tea, apples, berries and cocoa are rich sources of flavanol and researchers have advised to consume these in sufficient quantities. The three-year study is based on analysis of the data of 3,562 people aged 71. These participants were given fruit with high level of flavanol and it was found that they had better hippocampal memory function, which includes short-term memory-making, than those who didn’t.

The hippocampus is a part of the brain that regulates learning, navigation and storage and consolidation of memory.

The research has been published in the US journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers clarified that age-related mental decline should not be confused with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The condition impacts thinking speed and the ability to sustain attention and causes issues with word-finding, but is different from the degenerative diseases.

In the study, scientists have suggested consuming a supplement of 500mg of flavanols daily to reverse the negative impact on memory functions of low intake of the compound.

The researchers, however, warned that taking flavanol supplements will have no effect on people who don’t have its deficiency.

Lead scientist Scott Small, professor of neurology at Columbia University, said the findings formed part of a growing body of research that is “starting to reveal that different nutrients are needed to fortify our ageing minds”.

The researchers took into consideration the flavanols extracted from cocoa, but authors said that eating chocolate is unlikely to provide sufficient levels, as the compound is destroyed during processing.

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