Welcome to my blog, a place to explore and learn about the experience of running a psychiatric practice. I post about things that I find useful to know or think about. So, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chocolate, Again

About 2 months ago, I posted about my chocolate addiction, and the potential mental health benefits of chocolate.

It seems I was more right than I knew.

In a recent study, Enhancing dentate gyrus function with dietary flavanols improves cognition in older adults, published in Nature Neuroscience,

A team led by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center randomly assigned 37 healthy volunteers aged 50 to 69 to receive either a high-flavanol (900 mg) or a low-flavanol (10 mg) cocoa drink, developed by candymaker Mars Inc., once a day for three months...
After three months, the researchers found noticeable improvements in both the health of the dentate gyrus and cognitive test performance among those who consumed the high-flavanol drink.... “If a participant had the memory of a typical 60-year-old at the beginning of the study, after three months that person on average had the memory of a typical 30- or 40-year-old.” (From Psychiatric News Alerts)

Unfortunately, 900mg of flavanol is more chocolate than most people can consume in a day (MOST people, not me), so it's unrealistic to expect chocolate to improve your memory. But it made me wonder if candy makers like Mars are planning to branch out into chocolate as health food.

Mars manufactures all of these chocolate products:

I checked out the Mars website, and sure enough, they have a department called, "Symbioscience", "a technology-based health and life sciences business focused on evidence-based product development."

One of their products is CocoaVia:
CocoaVia® is daily cocoa extract supplement that helps support healthy circulation, which contributes to healthy aging by promoting cardiovascular health. CocoaVia® supplement is made with our patented Cocoapro cocoa extract and delivers 250mg of cocoa flavanols per serving – guaranteeing the highest concentration of cocoa flavanols in a dietary supplement. The cocoa flavanols in CocoaVia® are scientifically proven to help support healthy circulation, important for cardiovascular health, cognitive health, exercise performance, blood flow, heart health, and skin health. 
This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Here's a link to their research publications, so you can check out their "scientifically proven-ness". I don't know what to make of any of it. It's industry-does that make it bad science? Maybe I should suggest they look into marketing the cannabinoid components of chocolate. No matter what, though, it's gluten free.

1 comment:

  1. For cheap, good chocolate, check out Trader Joe's. (You just made me hungry for chocolate.)