Chocolate lovers are celebrating the latest news about the dark treat: Drinking two cups of hot chocolate daily may support brain health and thinking skills.
Sixty people with an average age of 73 who did not have dementia participated in a study by consuming hot chocolate for 30 days. They did not consume any other chocolate during the study.
The subjects were tested on memory and thinking skills, and also tested via ultrasound to measure blood flow to their brains.
“We’re learning more about blood flow in the brain and its effect on thinking skills,” said study author Farzaneh A. Sorond, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “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.”
Of the 60 participants, 18 had impaired blood flow at the start of the study, according to a press release from the The American Academy of Neurology. Those people had an 8.3-percent improvement in the blood flow to the working areas of the brain by the end of the study, while there was no improvement for those who started out with regular blood flow.
Results of the study were published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.