(NewsReady.com) – Cognitive decline typically happens when a person ages, which can be frustrating for anyone. A new study suggests that eating certain items can help slow that down.
Mars Edge, a subsidiary of the candy company, and the US National Institutes of Health funded a study to determine whether flavanols benefit an area in the brain within the hippocampus called the dentate gyrus, an area that’s critical for memory. Scientists from Columbia and Harvard Universities worked on the research
The Daily Mail reported the study was published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. More than 3,500 adults participated. On average, they were in their 70s and ate diets packed with flavanols, a subset of flavonoids that are found in grapes, tea, apples, and cocoa.
Researchers found about 500mg of flavanols each day provide memory benefits. While the flavanols came in the form of supplements, experts said that amount is easy to get through diet. Aedin Cassidy, a professor at Queen’s University Belfast, explained that a cup of tea, a couple of servings of apples and berries, and about six squares of dark chocolate would provide 500mg of flavanols if eaten together.
Researchers made the volunteers who participated in the study fill out surveys about their diets and perform several memory tests. Those who didn’t have a deficiency didn’t benefit at all from the supplements. However, the researchers found that the people who had poor diets and low flavanol consumption when the study began saw the most improvement after receiving the 500mg supplement. Their memory improved by about 10% more than the participants who were taking a placebo. University of Reading Professor Gunter Kuhnle said the study was “exciting.”
However, not everyone thinks the research was a big deal. University College London Professor David Curtis said that in his view, he believes the analyses weren’t performed correctly. Instead, he said the study showed the “supplements don’t have any major impact on memory function.”
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