Thursday, May 25, 2006

Chocoholics rejoice!

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I previously discussed chocolate and its potential for improving mood in the Mood Food post. Chocolate could, potentially, boost a number of feel good chemicals in the brain. All good until you take into account the quantity you would need to eat to get anything more than a placebo response.

Of course, the health benefits of dark chocolate have been talked about for some time. Little consolation for milk chocolate lovers like myself.

So I was heartened today to read of the cognitive performing boosting properties of milk chocolate. The study by Dr. Bryan Raudenbush, from Wheeling Jesuit University in the U.S. studied the effects of various chocolate types on brain power. Volunteers consumed either milk chocolate, dark chocolate, carob or nothing before completing in a series of cognitive tests.

Dr. Raudenbush reported that performance on verbal and visual memory tests were higher for the milk chocolate consumers than other groups. Groups who consumed either milk or dark chocolate showed improved impulse controls and reaction times.

The magical properties of chocolate?

Sigh. Probably not. The explanation put forward for the enhanced cognitive results relates to the fact that chocolate raises blood glucose which then increases blood flow to the brain. Similar results should therefore be generated by foods that affect glucose metabolism in a similar way.

Still, who wouldn't sign up for a repeat study?

Dr. Rosenbush will be presenting his findings at a conference later this year.

For the full press release, read Chocolate may boost brain power


Dr. Deborah Serani said...

C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E! !

I love it for all these reasons, AND that it tastes so yummy. Dark chocolate is my favorite.

I am going to read that link now.


Asha_sahana said...

such good news. does it really mean I can eat as much as I like....mmmmmmmm

healthpsych said...

Hi Deborah,

Thanks for stopping by.

I don't need any excuse to eat chocolate!! But sometimes it's good to be able to rationalise my consumption :)

Hi Asha,

Welcome to the blog.

Like any good 'medicine', chocolate has 'side effects' if eaten in large quantities. :)

jumpinginpuddles said...

chocolate bleh, is there a study on eating ccs and dips ? lmao probably not but its not fair they always do one on chocolate and i think its because they themselves want an excuse to eat ;)

Anonymous said...

Yum...must have chocolate! As always, great post.

healthpsych said...

Maybe we should set up a study on that one ourselves :)

Hi Tiesha's Place,
Thanks for visiting. I agree. Chocolate is a must!

Sarebear said...

I wondered, myself, if they shouldn't have included an additional food, same calorie amount and at the same spot or close on the glucose index or whatever they call that, because gee, if I just had NOTHING, or I just had CHOCOLATE, I'd think having eaten ANYTHING (well, anything pleasant!) would help concenctration over having had nothing. If they had this other similar on the, oh, I've got it, glycemic index food, in the trial, that would show something, anyway.

Still, I'll take all the positive results research I can get on the benefits of chocolate!!

I'd also like to see a study, where they take two foods, again, at a similar spot on the glycemic index, but one is pleasant and one is decidedly unpleasant. And see how TASTE, or one's perception of it, affects cognitive ability (cause if I'd just had some limburger cheese, I'd sure have a hard time thinkin' bout anything else!)