PATNA- Eating chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa can help improve brain function, according to a new study by Japan’s Meiji Seika Kaisha, Ltd. Frequent consumption of cocoa in chocolate sharpens concentration and cognitive function, the report said. However, this finding does not apply to Milky bars or Kinder chocolate, the sugar content of which is likely to do more harm than good, the study suggested.
The benefits are found only in chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa — over 70 percent — it said.
The research was based on 30 men and women between the ages of 45 to 68, with each individual required to consume 25 grams of dark chocolate per day for up to four weeks.
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test was carried out on the subjects after the test period. Of the 30 test subjects, about 60 percent showed increased cerebral blood flow (CBF) after the extended period of high cocoa consumption, thanks to the high levels of flavanols found in dark chocolate.
High levels of flavanols are found in dark chocolate but less so in milk or white chocolate. Cocoa flavanols, a subgroup of flavonoids, found in chocolate, are associated with positive cognitive function, the report said.