Cocoa Improves Memory, What the Fudge?

cocoa improves memory

Researchers find the cocoa improves memory in older people by improving a brain region called the dentate gyrus.

As we get older we tend to get a decline in how well our memory works. Commonly you start to forget where you parked the car and the names of new people you meet. This decline is caused by changes in a part of the brain called the hippocampus. These changes doesn’t affect the same region as dementia but it does occur in the same structure, the hippocampus.

Coo coo for Cocoa! Cocoa Improves Memory in Older People

In a study conducted at Columbia university researchers have found that cocoa improves memory. It’s the flavanols in cocoa that is also found in chocolate that’s the reason for this memory improvement.

Memory decline with age have been shown to be caused by changes in the dentate gyrus. This link have only been correlated previously no link as to why have been proposed. Cocoa flavanols have been shown to improve connections between neurons in this brain region in mice. In this study researchers investigated if this effect also was present in people.

In the study 37 healthy subjects between 50 and 69 years old were randomized and given either 900mg of flavanols per day or 10mg of flavanols per day for three months. Brain imaging and memory test were performed before and after this period known to involve. The test used methods known to involve the dentate gyrus.

In the study People on the high flavanol diet were found to have noticeable improvements of the dentate gyrus. They also performed much better in the memory tests. How much? People tested before the diet change and performing around the level of a 60 year old improved to having the memory one might expect from a 30 or 40 year old.

Researchers warn that one shouldn’t try to get these flavanols by eating large amounts of chocolate. They might be found in chocolate, but in much too small amounts to be of any use for improving memory.

To conclude, this study seem to suggest the cocoa improves memory in old people but the study is too small to definitely say this is the case.  SO lean back have a hot chocholate or some chocolate and we’ll see if this is confirmed in the future.