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

Regulatory News

Synthetic antioxidant l-ergothioneine safe as a novel food for pregnant women and children: EFSA

24 Nov 2017 --- The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) has concluded that synthetic l-ergothioneine is safe under the proposed uses and use levels for the groups of the population which had been excluded by the applicant in the original application. Following a request from the European Commission, EFSA confirmed the safety of the powerful antioxidant for groups including infants, young children (i.e. toddlers), pregnant women and breastfeeding women.

Business News

Fibers and proteins among Naturex’s expansion and diversification strategy

24 Nov 2017 --- Over the past months, Naturex has moved to boost its presence in the natural nutrition market with the acquisition of Swedish Oat Fiber, a specialized manufacturer of oat dietary fibers, oils and proteins, as well as the signing of a global distribution agreement via its Open Innovation program (Ingenium) with a Colorado-based start-up, MycoTechnology, for their PureTaste, shiitake mushroom plant protein created by patent-pending fungi fermentation technology.

Food Ingredients News

A&B achieves probiotic patent for treatment of chronic digestive diseases

22 Nov 2017 --- A&B Ingredients’ probiotic PA5051 has been issued a new patent as a method for treatment of chronic digestive diseases. The new patent covers both inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD) and nonspecific enteropathy (NEP), and can be used as a treatment for both humans and animals.

Nutrition & Health News

Peruvian companies hope Europe goes nuts for its new “superseed” sacha inchi

22 Nov 2017 --- Peru is going to make a big effort to introduce sacha inchi to the European market this autumn. This is according to Andean & Amazonian Super(b) Foods, a news platform set up by the companies CBI, PromPeru, Adex and CCL to promote Peruvian foods. Sacha inchi is a nut-like seed with strong health benefits and the platform states that it “will be one of the stars of the Peruvian participations in Food Matters Live and Fi Europe this autumn.”

Nutrition & Health News

Nuts strengthen brainwave function, study finds

16 Nov 2017 --- Eating nuts on a regular basis strengthens brainwave frequencies associated with cognition, healing, learning, memory and other key brain functions, researchers at Loma Linda University Health have found. In a study titled "Nuts and brain: Effects of eating nuts on changing electroencephalograph brainwaves," published in the FASEB Journal, researchers found that some nuts stimulated some brain frequencies more than others. 

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