Hot Cocoa May Improve Thinking, Then Again Maybe It Doesn’t [Study]

Elaine Radford - Author

Aug. 8 2013, Updated 7:16 a.m. ET

Will hot cocoa help preserve thinking skills and keep your brain sharp as you age? That’s the findings from a study published Wednesday in Neurology by lead author Farzaneh Sorond and colleagues.

The good news is that Dr. Sorond concluded that hot cocoa did indeed sharpen thinking in patients suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, or both.

According to the AARP Blog, a test of the 60 elderly patients showed that 18 percent of them had improved blood flow to the brain after drinking two cups of hot cocoa a day for 30 days.

However, Sorond told AARP that the study wasn’t really about chocolate. “[T]he importance of this study is that we were able to show that when your brain starts working, the blood flow to that area of brain is increased.”

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She added that she couldn’t recommend the use of chocolate because of the added sugar and calories.


WebMD looked into the study as well. The Alzheimer’s Association gave them a statement on Wednesday which also pooh-poohed the link between hot cocoa and better thinking.

Vice-president Maria Carrillo said that there was no control group in the admittedly small study: “No one should start drinking cocoa…based on this…”

Don’t get me wrong. Chocolate and cocoa can be an important part of a healthy diet in people of any age.

In March The Inquisitr published a lengthy look at the benefits of consuming chocolate. Among other things, it may elevate mood and cut the risk of stroke.

Hot cocoa may even calm the brain like morphine. And if the delicious chocolate becomes addictive, it won’t cause you nearly the problems you’ll get from an opioid.

Go ahead and enjoy your hot chocolate if you like. The new study may not have proved that hot cocoa improves thinking. But do you really need another excuse for chocolate?

[photo credit: pjf@cpan via photopincc]


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