Study finds chocolate may help prevent memory loss

OLDER Australians could now have a good excuse to eat more chocolate, after a new study found the cocoa bean may help prevent memory loss.

The Columbia University study, published online in the Nature Neuroscience journal on Monday, found compounds in cocoa beans may enhance cognitive function in older people.

A team at the university examined whether cocoa flavanols would enhance function of the "dentate gyrus" - a part of the brain associated with age-related memory decline.

They found in 37 study participants, aged 50-69, those who consumed higher doses of cocoa flavanols over three months were able to complete delayed-recognition tasks much quicker than others.

While only a small sample size, the results suggested higher consumption of the flavanols could improve cognitive function in older people.

- APN NEWSDESK



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