What's the Latest Development?
In a recent study of elderly people with poor blood flow, researchers found that drinking two cups of hot chocolate each day improved the seniors' circulation, resulting in more blood flow to the brain. "The study involved 60 people with an average age of 73 who did not have dementia. The participants drank two cups of hot cocoa per day for 30 days and did not consume any other chocolate during the study. They were given tests of memory and thinking skills. They also had ultrasounds tests to measure the amount of blood flow to the brain during the tests."
What's the Big Idea?
Seniors who began the study with regular blood flow (the control group) experienced no increase as a result of drinking chocolate, but those with poor circulation measured an 8.3 percent increase in blood flow. "We’re learning more about blood flow in the brain and its effect on thinking skills," said study author Farzaneh Sorond, MD, PhD, of Harvard Medical School and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "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."
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