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Monday, November 3, 2014

Flavanol-rich cocoa potentially dampen memory decline

A recent study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience showed memory decline with age can be mitigated by consuming cocoa that has a rich flavanol - a natural antioxidant that is also found in tea leaves and fruits and certain of vegetables.
Chocolate, or rather, the flavanol-rich cocoa compounds found in some varieties, may be linked to improved memory functioning in older adults. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/ZU9Jff)
According to researchers, this study provides evidence, if one of the components of memory loss associated with aging in humans due to a change in a specific region of the brain-dentate gyrus. Then, the form of memory loss can be improved with the help of diet.

"When we portray our brains of research subjects, we found a noticeable improvement in dentate gyrus function in those who consume cocoa beverages with high flavanol content," said Adam Brickman, lead author and a professor at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in the United States.
The brain area outlined in yellow is the hippocampus; the dentate gyrus is shown in green and the entorhinal cortex in purple. Previous work, including by the laboratory of senior author Scott A. Small, M.D., had shown that changes in a specific part of the brain's hippocampus -- the dentate gyrus -- are associated with normal age-related memory decline in humans and other mammals. The dentate gyrus is distinct from the entorhinal cortex, the hippocampal region affected in early-stage Alzheimer's disease. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/10uU1s1)
In the study, researchers recruited 37 healthy volunteers aged 50-69 years. These volunteers were randomized to receive high-flavanol drink (900 grams per day) and low flavanol (10 mg per day) for three months.

Results showed that the group who consumed drinks with high flavanol content was significantly better in a memory test.

"If the participant has 60 years of memory types at baseline, after three months they have an average age of 30 or 40 years types of memory," said Scott A. Small, senior author (CUMC) as reported by the ScienceDaily.

The researchers noted, the products used in the study are not the same as the chocolate, and they were careful to increased consumption of chocolate in an attempt to get this effect. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SCIENCEDAILY | NATIONAL POST]
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