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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Compound in cocoa found to reverse age-related memory loss

I'm apparently not eating enough chocolate, since I keep forgetting stuff - an oversight which I will correct immediately.
In case anyone needed another reason to love chocolate, a new study suggests that a natural compound found in cocoa, tea and some vegetables can reverse age-related memory loss.
The findings suggest that the compound increases connectivity and, subsequently, blood flow in a region of the brain critical to memory, the researchers said.
The study — published online Sunday in Nature Neuroscience and partly financed by a chocolate company — found that flavanols reverse mild memory loss in older adults. Using brain scans and memory tests, the latest study built on previous work showing that flavanols extracted from cocoa beans had improved neuronal connections in mice’s dentate gyrus, a part of the brain involved in memory formation.
But hold that chocolate bar. The researchers also warn that the compound found in cocoa exists only in minuscule amounts in the average chocolate bar compared with the amount used in the study, so gorging on chocolate in the name of health and improving one’s memory could backfire.
Well, shucks. Apparently that won't work, although there are flavonoid supplements. Read the whole thing.

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