Dark chocolate boosts immunity, sharpens memory

Dark chocolate boosts immunity, sharpens memory”

He was particularly interested in the benefits of dark chocolate on the brain and the immune system.

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. In fact, the positive effect of quality black chocolate is immediate, as it was observed that only 48 grams are enough to notice remarkable changes in brain activity over 30 minutes.

Berk and his colleagues investigated how eating a small amount of dark chocolate containing 70 percent cacao might have positive effects on the brain and immune system.

The team found that eating the dark chocolate led to a beneficial increase in gamma frequency in the cerebral cortical regions of the brain, which are the areas involved in memory and sensory processing.

The study looked at how the flavonoids contained in dark chocolate impacted the human brain, and found that the higher concentration of cacao, the more beneficial effects are to be had.

Blood samples were taken from the participants at study baseline.

The blood samples were analyzed in order to determine how chocolate consumption affects the expression of genes associated with immune system activity. In composite scores combining results from all tests, there was significant improvement after consumption of dark versus milk chocolate (mean improvement, 0.2 log U; 95% confidence interval, 0.1 to 0.3 log U; P .001).

New research shows there might be health benefits to eating certain types of dark chocolate.

"For years, we've been studying the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions in terms of sugar content - the more sugar we have, the happier we are", says Dr. Berk. But this is the first study to look at the impact of cacao flavonoids on the human brain.

People who ate a dark chocolate bar (72 percent cacao) had better vision within two hours, compared to those who consumed a milk chocolate bar in a small study conducted at the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry in San Antonio, Texas. The higher the concentration of cocoa, the higher its impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity, "he adds".

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