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New Study Shows Chocolate Improves Brain Function

Thank you, science.

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It may only be Tuesday but the good news is already rolling in — at least for chocolate lovers. According to data gathered from the sixth part of the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study earlier this month, consumption of chocolate is positively associated with cognitive brain function.

The study, published in the journal Appetite, measured the dietary intake, cognitive function, and cardiovascular risk factors of 968 people between the ages of 23 and 98. It concluded that the regular consumption of chocolate had a significant positive effect on cognitive function. The more habitual eating of chocolate was "significantly associated with better performance on [cognitive tests including] visual-spatial memory and [organization], working memory, scanning and tracking, abstract reasoning, and the mini-mental state examination."

The reason for chocolate's positive effects on the brain are due to the cocoa flavanols found inside the sweet treat. Dark chocolate has the highest levels of flavanols, while milk and white chocolate have significantly fewer. The research also found that flavonols's positive association with cognitive function may also protect against regular cognitive decline due to aging, such as dementia.

Of note, the study was supported in part by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The study's organizers disclosed no conflicts of interest.

The news may get chocolate fans to think of new ways to increase their cocoa intake. Have a few thousand to blow? Lenovo's 3D chocolate printer would make daily chocolate consumption especially interesting.

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