A new study shows that there are new health benefits of consuming dark chocolate.
The research presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of Experimental Biology in San Diego this week suggests that chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa can support cognitive, endocrine, and cardiovascular health.
Lee Berk, Principal Investigator and Associate Dean of Research Affairs at the School of Allied Health Professions at Loma Linda University, said participants received a 48-gram dark chocolate bar and then a piece of dark chocolate at the start of an experiment every two hours they were awake for several days.
Blood tests showed the chocolate-influenced gene activity, increased anti-inflammatory drugs, and increased infection-fighting cells, Berk said. Further research by Berk's team examined how brain activity responds to the consumption of dark chocolate. Gamma waves recorded by an electroencephalogram (EEG) suggested that treatment could have a positive effect on brain function, such as cognitive function and creativity, even two hours after consumption.
The two studies included a total of 10 participants, and the results have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal for review.
Berk said his team's next step is figuring out how much dark chocolate someone should eat to affect brain function. He confesses that he eats every day.
The research was funded by the university and is not affiliated with any chocolate companies, Berk said.
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