Crave Chocolate? Make It Dark for Mood and Memory
New research shows there might be health benefits to eating certain types of dark chocolate.
April 24, 2018, Loma Linda, CA—Consuming dark chocolate that has a high concentration of cacao—minimally 70% cacao, 30% organic cane sugar—has been shown to support cognitive, endocrine and cardiovascular health, according to two new studies.
These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other areas of health.
The flavonoids found in cacao are extremely potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, with known mechanisms beneficial for brain and cardiovascular health. The following results will be presented in live poster sessions during the Experimental Biology 2018 meeting:
Dark Chocolate (70% Cacao) Affects Human Gene Expression: Cacao Regulates Cellular Immune Response, Neural Signaling, and Sensory Perception
This pilot feasibility experimental trial examined the impact of 70 percent cacao chocolate consumption on human immune and dendritic cell gene expression, with focus on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Study findings show cacao consumption up-regulates multiple intracellular signaling pathways involved in T-cell activation, cellular immune response and genes involved in neural signaling and sensory perception — the latter potentially associated with the phenomena of brain hyperplasticity.
Dark Chocolate (70% Organic Cacao) Increases Acute and Chronic EEG Power Spectral Density (μv2) Response of Gamma Frequency (25-40Hz) for Brain Health: Enhancement of Neuroplasticity, Neural Synchrony, Cognitive Processing, Learning, Memory, Recall, and Mindfulness Meditation
This study assessed the electroencephalography (EEG) response to consuming 48 g of dark chocolate (70% cacao) after an acute period of time (30 mins) and after a chronic period of time (120 mins), on modulating brain frequencies 0-40Hz, specifically beneficial gamma frequency (25-40Hz). Findings show that this superfood of 70 percent cacao enhances neuroplasticity for behavioral and brain health benefits.
Berk said the studies require further investigation, specifically to determine the significance of these effects for immune cells and the brain in larger study populations. Further research is in progress to elaborate on the mechanisms that may be involved in the cause-and-effect brain-behavior relationship with cacao at this high concentration.
Source: Materials provided by Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180424133628.htm