Flavanols In Cocoa Help Enhance Short-term Memory In The Elderly

Flavanols In Cocoa Help Enhance Short-term Memory In The Elderly

According to a recent report by the British "Daily Mail", a study published in the journal "Scientific Reports" found that the phytochemicals rich in cocoa beans, flavanols, can enhance the memory of people aged 50-75, so that their perform better on learning tasks.

Flavanols are polyphenolic compounds. Studies have shown that flavanols are a "bioactive food ingredient" that can prevent cognitive aging, enhance cognitive performance, and improve blood flow to the brain.

The researchers advise caution, as chocolate "is a craving treat, not a health food," and it's low in flavanols. Dark chocolate is indeed high in flavanols, but when cocoa is processed into chocolate, the flavanols are destroyed, making chocolate no longer a reliable source of flavanols.

Previous studies have linked higher consumption of flavanols with a lower risk of dementia, and studies have suggested that flavanols can reduce inflammation associated with heart disease and reduce the risk of blood clots, the report said.

In the study, led by Columbia University professor Scott Small, 211 healthy people between the ages of 50 and 75 participated in the new 12-week trial. At the beginning and end of the study, participants underwent a series of cognitive tests to assess their thinking and memory, and a subset of them underwent magnetic resonance imaging scans to measure blood flow in the brain. During the trial, participants were divided into 4 groups, each taking 3 different levels of cocoa flavanol supplements.

Dietary cocoa flavanols can reverse age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, study finds. Cocoa may help older adults recall information in their short-term memory, but is less effective at quickly recognizing visual similarities between objects and patterns.
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