The ingredients in chocolate and wine support brain health

December 29, 2008

Researchers at Oxford University have demonstrated that Cocoa and Wine appear to be good for the brain. Lead author Dr Smith describes the study of 2,031 men and women aged 70 to 74 recruited from the Hordaland Health Study in Norway. Dietary question-naires were analyzed for the intake of wine, tea, and chocolate; dietary items that are high in flavonoids.
Cognitive evaluation included six tests of memory and learning. Subjects who reported consuming wine, chocolate or tea had significantly better average cognitive test scores and than non-consumers. The risk of performing poorly on the cognitive tests decreased as a greater number of the three foods were consumed, with a 64 to 74 percent reduction in the risk of poor test performance associated with the intake of all three compared
In their discussion of the possible effects of these foods upon the brain, the authors note that wine drinkers have been shown to have a lower risk of dementia compared with nondrinkers, cocoa is a rich source of flavonoids which have antioxidant benefits (they also improve blood flow to the brain), and green tea polyphenol intake has been correlated with a reduction in cognitive impairment. The results of the study is published in the December, 2008 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.