New Alzheimer's Treatment: Hot Cocoa?
Study indicates that it can improve patients with impaired neurological coupling
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Aug 8, 2013 1:22 PM CDT
Marshmallows optional.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Here's some medicine that will go down easy: A new study suggests that drinking hot cocoa can help seniors sharpen their memories, at least if their brains already suffer some impairment. Researchers had a group of 60 seniors drink two cups of hot cocoa a day, with half getting cups rich in the antioxidant flavanol, and the other half getting flavanol-poor hot cocoa, Medical News Today reports. Evidence suggests flavanol improves heart circulation and heart health.

Researchers were wondering if the flavanol could also improve neurovascular coupling, the relationship between brain activity and blood flow that may play a role in diseases such as Alzheimer's. The flavanol turned out to have no effect. But researchers found that the 18 participants who had started with neurovascular coupling impairments improved significantly in both blood flow and memory tests. "There is a strong correlation between neurovascular coupling and cognitive function," the researchers wrote, "and both can be improved by regular cocoa consumption."

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
Aug 9, 2013 9:28 PM CDT
It's true. Who can forget a good, hot cup of cocoa?
Aug 8, 2013 6:54 PM CDT
Consuming cocoa has benefits in itself... If it helps one's health, that's just bonus points.....
Aug 8, 2013 3:51 PM CDT
I make my own hot cocoa from unsweetened baking chocolate, which is pure chocolate and/or cocoa powder. A little sugar, I like it somewhat strong and bitter. Also I make my own hot fudge sauce with little sugar and unsweetened baking chocolate. The ready made cocoa in a pouch, just add hot water stuff is NOT real hot cocoa.