Hot chocolate could improve brain health in the elderly

Hot chocolate could improve brain health in the elderly

As if we need another reason to enjoy hot chocolate, but new research has revealed that it can help to keep our brains healthy.

Drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may boost memory in pensioners by almost a third.

The study found that it helped to improve blood flow to the brain in those who had problems to start with.

Those participants whose blood flow improved also did better on memory tests at the end of the study, the journal Neurology reported.

Dr Farzaneh Sorond, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, who led the study said: “We’re learning more about blood flow in the brain and its effect on thinking skills.

“As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. This relationship, called neurovascular coupling, may play an important role in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.”  

Almost a third of the 60 people with an average age of 73, had impaired blood flow at the start of the study, but saw an 8.3% improvement in flow to the working areas of the brain by the end of the study.

“More work is needed to prove a link between cocoa, blood flow problems and cognitive decline, but this is an important first step that could guide future studies,” explains Dr Paul Rosenberg, from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. 

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