News / Health

Hot Chocolate May Help Keep Older Brains Healthy

A cup of hot cocoa is seen on a table in Concord, New Hampshire.
A cup of hot cocoa is seen on a table in Concord, New Hampshire.
Faith Lapidus
As if we needed another reason to love chocolate, it turns out hot cocoa could be good for you. A new study says drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may help older brains remain sharp.

A common form of dementia is caused by problems in the supply of blood to the brain. Harvard Medical School neurologist Farzaneh Sorond wanted to understand how blood flow in the brain affected thinking skills. She studied a group of 60 older people, with an average age of 73, who did not have dementia. Eighteen, however, had impaired blood flow in their brain.

The participants drank two cups of hot cocoa a day for a month. They were given tests of memory and thinking, and Sorond used an ultrasound to measure blood flow during the tests. She found that blood flow to the working parts of the brain increased with the cognitive tasks.

By the end of the study, the participants who had impaired blood flow had significantly improved their scores on the tests, and showed an 8.3 percent improvement in blood flow. The other participants had no change in their performance and blood flow.

There is a hypothesis that the antioxidant flavanol, which is found in cocoa, helps cognition. Alzheimer's expert Paul Rosenberg, who wrote an editorial accompanying Sorond's study in the journal Neurology, said that theory, however, did not hold up.

"Her findings go against that. She [Sorond] tested cocoa that was rich in flavanol and poor in flavanol, and she found no difference," said Rosenberg.

Rosenberg, of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, called her study "an important first step" toward future studies, though, that could lead to better drugs or treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

"Dr. Sorond's a friend, so we've talked about this, and neither of us are quite ready to jump out and say, 'take cocoa.' But it's possible there may be a drug to develop that's sitting inside your cocoa," he said.

And until then, we can enjoy hot chocolate - maybe with some whipped cream - simply because it tastes good!

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mhey from: Cordillera
August 08, 2013 6:59 PM
It depend,chocolate just make you awake


by: Safa from: Adelaide
August 08, 2013 3:25 AM
Wow!I'm going to try it asap because sometimes I forget things these days!maybe not having alhzeimer in close future!


by: seniorskiss.com from: new york city
August 08, 2013 1:45 AM
Amazing, isn't it? The medical community comes out with study after study on how we should live our lives, but nothing about their inability to cure a single disease in the last 50 years.


by: Garen from: USA
August 08, 2013 1:34 AM
Chocolate in any form is good. A glass of champagne with any form of chocolate (cakes, cookies, etc.) helps absorb the good nutrients of chocolate a lot faster!


by: Wudhesay from: usa
August 07, 2013 8:59 PM
Are you sure? Or is it because that commodity is taking a hard hit on the markets? Bad!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid