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What's In Chocolate, Cocoa That Might Benefit Brain Health?
FORBES ^ | Aug 8, 2013 | Alice G Walton

Posted on 08/08/2013 7:17:43 PM PDT by Innovative

In the new study, the team from Harvard randomly assigned 60 elderly people to drink two cups of flavanol-rich or flavanol-poor cocoa every day for a month.

There weren't any overall differences between the high- and low-flavanol groups in terms of cognitive abilities, so the researchers looked a little deeper. They found that people who had compromised blood flow to the brain and white matter damage at the beginning of the study did show a difference after drinking the cocoa for a month: Blood flow in their brains improved by about 8%, and the time it took them to complete a working memory test dropped from 167 seconds to 116 seconds.

The problem is that not only do we not know exactly how cocoa does this, but we don’t really even know what compound in it is responsible.

While the authors don't think cocoa's effects have to do with the flavanols, they do say that in the future, "regular cocoa consumption may be a strategy to minimize (perhaps even reverse) cerebral vascular pathology in neurodegenerative disorders, regardless of its flavanol content."

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News
KEYWORDS: alzheimers; brain; chocolate; cocoa; health; medicine; memory
If there was this much improvement with two cups of cocoa for a month - just think the effect of drinking hot cocoa or eating chocolate regularly for years...

PS. This article is from Forbes magazine, so I think it deserves to be posted in News.

1 posted on 08/08/2013 7:17:44 PM PDT by Innovative
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To: Innovative

CHOCOLATE!


2 posted on 08/08/2013 7:21:45 PM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: Innovative

Does anyone remember Woody Allen’s “Sleeper?” Wasn’t the line something like “Here, have some chocolate and tobacco...”


3 posted on 08/08/2013 7:24:18 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: zot

hot cocoa for breakfast and night time


4 posted on 08/08/2013 7:26:10 PM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: 2banana

5 posted on 08/08/2013 7:26:16 PM PDT by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: Innovative

Yesterday, I was in coffee aisle of grocery and past coffee saw canister of Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix without sugar, and I bought it. I’ll have a cup of that now.


6 posted on 08/08/2013 7:28:19 PM PDT by Marcella ((Prepping can save your life today. I am a Christian, not a Muslim.))
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To: GreyFriar

7 posted on 08/08/2013 7:29:11 PM PDT by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: Innovative

Yumminess.


8 posted on 08/08/2013 7:42:07 PM PDT by SIDENET
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To: Innovative

The thing that jumps out at me is the cocoa butter.

Cocoa butter contains a high proportion of saturated fats, derived from stearic and palmitic acids.

Stearic acid occurs in many animal and vegetable fats and oils, but it is more abundant in animal fat (up to 30%) than vegetable fat (typically <5%). The important exceptions are cocoa butter and shea butter where the stearic acid content (as a triglyceride) is 28–45%.


9 posted on 08/08/2013 7:46:21 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Be Brave! Fear is just the opposite of Nar!)
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To: Marcella

You can make guiltless sugar-free cocoa with stevia. Delicious.

I saw this thread and just had to get up and start some water heating... yum.


10 posted on 08/08/2013 8:04:44 PM PDT by PastorBooks
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To: Innovative

Beans are vegetables.
Cocoa comes from beans.
Chocolate is a vegetable!


11 posted on 08/08/2013 8:07:56 PM PDT by Clay Moore ("In politics, stupidity is not a handicap." Napoleon Bonaparte)
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To: Innovative
I use Mayan organic cocoa - and make my hot cocoa with organic whole milk - with a dash of cayenne pepper (the ancient Mayans uses red pepper in their chocolate drink) and a dash of pure vanilla -

However, I suspect the Mayans (royalty only were allowed chocolate) didn't use any milk - or Llama milk?

12 posted on 08/08/2013 8:40:42 PM PDT by maine-iac7 (Christian is as Christian does - by their fruits)
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To: GreyFriar

Cocoa is a stimulant, but I had not heard that it might improve brain function.


13 posted on 08/08/2013 8:47:36 PM PDT by zot
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To: maine-iac7
No llamas in Mexico.

They mixed it with water, chilies, vanilla and cornmeal. They might have added in a bit of agave nectar.

14 posted on 08/08/2013 9:00:13 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: PastorBooks

“You can make guiltless sugar-free cocoa with stevia. Delicious.”

What I got is sugarless, and I did have a cup - the cup is larger than a usual cup.


15 posted on 08/08/2013 9:07:32 PM PDT by Marcella ((Prepping can save your life today. I am a Christian, not a Muslim.))
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To: Clay Moore

Beans are legumes. Legumes are fruits. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legume


16 posted on 08/08/2013 9:07:45 PM PDT by matthew fuller
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To: Innovative

Dark chocolate is now supposed to be good for the heart.


17 posted on 08/08/2013 9:18:15 PM PDT by spel_grammer_an_punct_polise (Learn three chords and you, too, can be a Rock Star!)
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To: Marcella

organic chocolate melted with “So Delicious Dairy free French Vanilla creamer” !!
Now there is heaven in a cup!


18 posted on 08/08/2013 9:18:39 PM PDT by acapesket
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To: The Antiyuppie

Yes, one scientist told another that people used to think that steak and hot fudge were bad. Her reply was, “Incredible!” That was a great movie with great music. I wish there have been a soundtrack.


19 posted on 08/08/2013 9:19:09 PM PDT by Pining_4_TX (All those who were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48)
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To: Innovative

Keep on eating that dark chocolate!

Finding out what does it would spoil the fun.


20 posted on 08/08/2013 9:23:44 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: acapesket

Forget the “dairy free” crap and use the real thing.

Its healthier and tasts better too.


21 posted on 08/08/2013 9:25:07 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: Pining_4_TX

Here’s the scene from Sleeper:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs4b3Fm5ymI


22 posted on 08/08/2013 9:25:34 PM PDT by WL-law
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To: Innovative

Vitamin See.


23 posted on 08/08/2013 9:25:37 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: zot

Another study, mentioned on Sunday Morning Health Call (FOX News), stated that dark chocolate also helps prevent strokes. So there is something in chocolate that helps the brain in more ways than one.


24 posted on 08/08/2013 9:29:31 PM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: Clay Moore

Best news I have heard all day!


25 posted on 08/08/2013 9:32:22 PM PDT by celtic gal
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
No llamas in Mexico.

True - but aren't/weren't the Mayans and llamss in Peru?

26 posted on 08/08/2013 9:33:36 PM PDT by maine-iac7 (Christian is as Christian does - by their fruits)
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To: PastorBooks

Stevia tastes like something cracked from old gasoline and flavored with sugar beets.


27 posted on 08/08/2013 9:34:35 PM PDT by Stentor
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To: maine-iac7
Llamas in Peru, Maya in Mexico and as far as we can tell never the twain did meet.

Which was what was the final straw for me in the last Indiana Jones movie.

Refrigerators protect you from atomic blasts? Ok.

Telepathic Russian agents? Sure.

Aliens? Why not.

Maya in Peru? What the....!

28 posted on 08/08/2013 10:03:27 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: All; PastorBooks; Stentor

I love stevia in hot chocolate and coffee. After you’ve had it for awhile, real sugar tastes too sweet and cheap.

But I still like real sugar in peanut butter cookies. :)

However, I use less sugar than the recipe calls for.


29 posted on 08/08/2013 10:47:07 PM PDT by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: PastorBooks

Stevia?

No thanks.

And no thanks to sugar of any kind.

And no thanks to any artificial sweetener of any kind.

What’s wrong with cocoa without any sweetener?


30 posted on 08/09/2013 12:02:41 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: Stentor
Stevia tastes like something cracked from old gasoline and flavored with sugar beets.

Taste like saccharin t me. Bleeaaahh!

31 posted on 08/09/2013 12:38:32 AM PDT by itsahoot (It is not so much that history repeats, but that human nature does not change.)
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To: Age of Reason
What’s wrong with cocoa without any sweetener?

You really have to ask? Really?

32 posted on 08/09/2013 12:39:51 AM PDT by itsahoot (It is not so much that history repeats, but that human nature does not change.)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

What jumps out for me, and your cocoa butter idea is a good one, is the emotion involved in hot cocoa. It is an extremely pleasant, tasty, homey association with the past that could be such a good feeling that the feeling itself is what stimulates the brain.

Just a thought. It would be a mind over matter explanation and would account for the lack of success identifying a specific chemical compound.

Start raising kids where a beating or a severe lecture (Michelle Obama) is associated with drinking hot chocolate and the benefit might disappear in a couple decades.


33 posted on 08/09/2013 3:08:22 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins

I’d always assume a chemical, because there are so darned many of them that are biologically interactive with us.

To start with, cocoa is full of antioxidant-rich phytonutrients. ORAC is the acronym for “Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity”, and raw cocoa has the highest ORAC value of any food (which is why the researchers focus on it.

(I might also add this is why chemotherapy patients should never, ever drink cocoa or eat chocolate, because the intent of the chemo is to create oxygen radicals in the tumor.)

Cocoa has more flavonoids than any known food. Two flavonoids in particular, catechin and epicatchin, are found in extremely high amounts in cocoa powder and have copious amounts of research supporting their health benefits. These two flavonoids along with hundreds of other known phytochemicals in cocoa appear to prevent and even treat some of today’s most devastating diseases. Interestingly, this myriad of flavonoids in cocoa appears to be absorbed intact into the human blood stream.

This is unusual because many flavonoids are destroyed during digestion, a reason that flavonoid supplement don’t seem to work as well as those within plant cells tissue.

Many Americans are deficient in the minerals copper and magnesium, both of which are found in cocoa. Cocoa contains about 0.8 mg of copper per 100 g and is therefore a great food source of copper. Copper has many uses in the body, including the oxygenation of red blood cells and aiding in cellular energy production. Cocoa also has the highest amount of magnesium of any known food source,approximately 131 mg per 100 g of cocoa. This mineral, which plays a significant role in cocoa’s health giving properties, is required by over 300 enzymes in the body and is crucial for cardiovascular health, optimal blood pressure and protein synthesis.

Other chemicals in cocoa cause euphoria, including phenyethlamine (PEA), serotonin, tyramine and anandamide. One of the most well-known is phenyethlamine (PEA) which helps the body release its own opium-like compounds, called endorphins, and also boosts levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Most people are deficient in the neurotransmitter serotonin and this is why many Americans are prescribed anti-depressants which boost serotonin levels. Anandamide binds to the same receptor sites in the brain as THC, the active constituent in marijuana.


34 posted on 08/09/2013 6:53:02 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Be Brave! Fear is just the opposite of Nar!)
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To: editor-surveyor

The “dairy free” crap as you call it Mr E.S. is all this body can tolerate, and I disagree about better and healthier actually.. Coconut and it’s by products are some of the healthiest things you can consume.


35 posted on 08/09/2013 6:58:23 AM PDT by acapesket
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To: acapesket

I do not disagree with you as to Coconut, but many “dairy free” products contain harmful oils like soy, canola, and safflower.


36 posted on 08/09/2013 10:27:09 AM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: Cold Heart

Thanks. I had not heard that dark chocolate helps prevent strokes.


37 posted on 08/09/2013 1:54:29 PM PDT by zot
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To: editor-surveyor

Soy is the GMO oil that will kill ya!

Coconuts are a great food source.. read ur labels!


38 posted on 08/13/2013 6:07:46 PM PDT by acapesket
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To: itsahoot
You really have to ask? Really?

Yes.

I cut out sugars and all sweeteners over ten years ago. Needless to say, that means I haven't had cocoa or chocolate for at least ten years.

I have learned to drink my coffee without sugar (and without milk or cream; dairy is also unhealthy).

So I was wondering if it's possible (and convenient, as in not having to grind my own cocoa beans or something) to make hot chocolate without any kind of sweetener added.

39 posted on 08/17/2013 4:02:44 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: acapesket
Coconut and it’s by products are some of the healthiest things you can consume

Isn't coconut milk a laxative?

40 posted on 08/17/2013 4:04:03 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Maya in Peru? What the....!

Next thing you know, there will be Puerto Ricans in NYC...

41 posted on 08/17/2013 4:08:08 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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