Το κακάο βοηθά τους ηλικιωμένους να έχουν υγιή μνήμη – Two cups of cocoa a day may boost memory

choc_2637809b

Η κατανάλωση δύο φλιτζανιών ζεστής σοκολάτας (κακάο) κάθε ημέρα μπορεί να βοηθήσει τους ηλικιωμένους να διατηρήσουν πιο υγιή τη μνήμη τους και γενικότερα τον εγκέφαλό τους, σύμφωνα με μια νέα αμερικανική επιστημονική έρευνα. Δεν είναι η πρώτη φορά που το ρόφημα του κακάο συσχετίζεται με την υγεία των αγγείων του αίματος.

Οι ερευνητές, με επικεφαλής την ιρανικής καταγωγής νευρολόγο Φαρζανέχ Σορόντ της Ιατρικής Σχολής του πανεπιστημίου Χάρβαρντ, που έκαναν τη σχετική δημοσίευση στο περιοδικό “Neurology” της Αμερικανικής Ακαδημίας Νευρολογίας, σύμφωνα με το ΒΒC, μελέτησαν 60 ανθρώπους με μέση ηλικία 73 ετών, που δεν είχαν άνοια.

Οι εθελοντές έπιναν δύο φλιτζάνια ζεστού κακάο καθημερινά επί 30 μέρες και δεν κατανάλωναν σοκολάτα σε οποιαδήποτε άλλη μορφή στη διάρκεια αυτού του μήνα. Παράλληλα, υποβάλλονταν σε μνημονικά και νοητικά τεστ, ενώ μέσω υπερήχων καταγραφόταν η ποσότητα του αίματος που κυκλοφορούσε στον εγκέφαλό τους.
Η μελέτη έδειξε ότι, μετά από έναν μήνα κατανάλωσης κακάο, είχε βελτιωθεί κατά μέσο όρο κατά 8,3% η κυκλοφορία του αίματος στον εγκέφαλο των εθελοντών εκείνων (18 άτομα) που στο ξεκίνημα της έρευνας είχαν μειωμένη ροή αίματος (μια ένδειξη πιθανής προϊούσας άνοιας και Αλτσχάιμερ). Αντίθετα, δεν φάνηκε να βελτιώνεται ανάλογα η κυκλοφορία του αίματος σε όσους εξ αρχής δεν είχαν τέτοια προβλήματα.

Drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day helps boost memory among the elderly, a study has suggested.

Research on pensioners found that drinking cocoa improved blood flow, which has been linked to healthier brains and improved cognition.

The study led by Harvard researchers examined 60 people with an average age of 73, who did not have dementia.

Participants drank two cups of hot cocoa per day for 30 days and did not eat any other chocolate.

They were given memory and thinking skills tests, as well as ultrasound tests to measure the amount of blood flow to the brain.

Of the 60 participants, 18 had impaired blood flow at the start of the study. The results of the study showed that for those participants, there were improvements in blood flow to the brain and in tests of their working memory.

After a month, they experienced an 8.3 per cent improvement in flow to working areas of the brain.

Test scores of their working memory also improved, with recall times falling from an average of 167 seconds to 116 seconds.

Dr Farzaneh Sorond, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, who led the study reported online in the journal Neurology, said: “We’re learning more about blood flow in the brain and its effect on thinking skills.

“As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. This relationship, called neurovascular coupling, may play an important role in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.”

There were no such improvements for participants with regular blood flow, according to the study by the National Institute on Aging and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

MRI scans were also performed on 24 participants, to look for tiny areas of brain damage. The scans showed that people with impaired blood flow were more likely to have these areas of brain damage.

Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development for the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “‘We know that poor blood flow can affect people’s brain power because they don’t have enough fuel in their brain cells to complete tasks efficiently.”

“From this small but interesting study, it seems that cocoa helps improve blood supply to the brain, therefore having a knock on effect of improving people’s cognition.”

He said it was not known whether drinking cocoa had any impact on dementia.

‘Although this could be good news for those who enjoy a relaxing hot chocolate before bed, we do need further research to better our understanding of the link between cocoa and cognition, and also whether it has any impact on dementia,” he said.

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: