High Flavanol Chocolate Confirmed to Positively Impact Brain Performance

17 Feb 2012 --- People who regularly consume cocoa flavanols, such as those found in Barry Callebaut’s high flavanol cocoa and chocolate, can think just as well as others, but with less effort.

Feb 17 2012 --- Chocolate can be good for the brain – at least if you eat the right kind. Chocolate – in particular the dark variety – is already well known for its positive effects when consumed in small quantities. Scientists have now found new evidence for another effect: Chocolate or cocoa powder containing higher amounts of so-called cocoa flavanols can positively influence brain performance in healthy middle-aged individuals in a natural way. Put simply: People who regularly consume cocoa flavanols, such as those found in Barry Callebaut’s high flavanol cocoa and chocolate, can think just as well as others, but with less effort. This was revealed in an independent study by Professor Andrew Scholey and Con Stough from the Center for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University in Australia.

Hans Vriens, Chief Innovation Officer at Barry Callebaut: “This is the first time that science has positively linked consumption of high flavanol cocoa and chocolate products from Barry Callebaut to improved brain performance. When consumed regularly, the brain is able to complete memory tasks with less effort.”

Sixty-three individuals between the ages of 40 and 65 were observed in a randomized, controlled, double-blind study over a sample period of 30 days. They were divided up into three test groups and consumed a prescribed drink daily. The composition of the chocolate drink varied with regard to the proportion of cocoa flavanols they each contained: For group 1 the cocoa drink contained 10 g of dark high flavanol chocolate (corresponds to 500 mg cocoa flavanols), for the second group 10 g of conventional dark chocolate (corresponds to 250 mg of cocoa flavanols) and for the control group a drink with 10 g of dark chocolate that contained hardly any cocoa flavanols. During the sample period the test subjects were not allowed to consume products containing caffeine, flavonoid-rich fruits or an excess of alcohol so as not to influence the results of the study.

As the basis for the experiment, the Steady State Visually-Evoked Potential method (SSVEP) was used to measure human brain activity. In order to compare brain activities, on the first and on the 30th day computer-tomography (CT) brain scans of the test subjects were made while participants solved tasks dealing with spatial working memory. Spatial working memory describes the ability to remember, for instance, the location where an object appeared and also to recall a series of earlier locations of other objects.

The results of the study show that the brains of individuals who consumed the cocoa drink with a medium or a high proportion of cocoa flavanols were less strained than those in the control group without cocoa flavanols. Differences in the accuracy or the reaction times of the test subjects in solving the task were not ascertained between the various groups. This means that Barry Callebaut’s ACTICOA chocolate lowered stress levels in the brain after consumption and allowed the test subjects to achieve the same performance with lower resource usage.

Cocoa flavanols belong to the flavonoids or the polyphenols, a group of secondary phytonutrients, and are found for instance in plants, fruit and also in cocoa beans. When consumed, cocoa flavanols have widely varying positive effects on human health. However, during the manufacturing process of chocolate, cocoa flavanols tend to be destroyed. Barry Callebaut developed a special manufacturing method named ACTICOA. The result: The products are among the foods richest in cocoa flavanols currently available in the market. Barry Callebaut’s ACTICOA chocolate can easily be recognized by its embossed ACTICOA logo.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Camfield%20cocoa%20flavanols

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

NuGo launches “first and only” gluten-free pea protein cookie

12 Sep 2017 --- NuGo Nutrition is expanding its line of products by launching NuGo Protein Cookies, which it calls the first and only gluten-free, vegan pea protein cookie. NuGo states in its press release that it is the first major protein bar brand to launch protein cookies. The baked cookies have a short list of clean, non-GMO ingredients with 16 grams of protein in every package, it adds.

Nutrition & Health News

Non-GMO Project verifies Bioriginal’s AlfaPro alfalfa protein powder

04 Sep 2017 --- Bioriginal’s AlfaPro alfalfa protein powder is now Non-GMO Project Verified, the company has announced. AlfaPro, which the company says is made from 100 percent young alfalfa plants, is part of Bioriginal’s line of plant-based proteins “useful for maintaining overall health and energy levels.”

Nutrition & Health News

Natural compounds in cocoa could delay onset of type 2 diabetes

30 Aug 2017 --- There is a possibility that eating some kinds of chocolate could help to fight and treat diabetes, as certain compounds found in cocoa called epicatechin monomers can actually help the body release more insulin and respond to increased blood glucose better. This is according to research at Brigham Young University (BYU) in the US that was funded, in part, thanks to grants from the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation and the American Diabetes Association.

Nutrition & Health News

Dark chocolate enriched with olive oil linked to improved cardiovascular risk profile

30 Aug 2017 --- Dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil is associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile, according to research presented at a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress this week. The study suggests that extra virgin olive oil might be a good food additive to help preserve endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), which are critical for vascular repair and maintenance of endothelial function.

Nutrition & Health News

Childhood obesity could be psychological disorder

24 Aug 2017 --- New evidence regarding the brain’s relationship with obesity has emerged. A study by a team of researchers, including Senior Investigator Bradley Peterson, MD, Director of the Institute for the Developing Mind at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, has found that neural responses to food cues are different in overweight compared with lean adolescents while there is less activity in the brain’s self-regulation and attention circuits. The findings may also be a useful predictor of adult obesity.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/High-Flavanol-Chocolate-Confirmed-to-Positively-Impact-Brain-Performance.html