Compound found in cocoa may help reverse memory loss, study says

CHICAGO -- A study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience found flavanol, a chemical compound found in cocoa, may help reverse age-related memory loss.

During the study, healthy people ages 50-69 drank antioxidents used in some chocolate for three months. Doctors said the memory test subjects responded like people two-three decades younger.

Flavanol increased blood flow and neural connections in parts of the brain related to memory function in mice.

But since the amount of flavanol found in a typical chocolate bar is very small compared to the chocolate samples used in the study, people would have to eat about seven dark chocolate candy bars a day to get the helpful amount.

The study was partially financed by Mars, a chocolate company, according to the Washington Post.

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