A new study shows that there are new health benefits from eating dark chocolate.
The research presented this week at the 2018 Experimental Biology annual meeting in San Diego suggests that chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa can promote cognitive, endocrine and cardiovascular health.
Lee Berk, principal investigator of the studies and associate dean of research affairs at the School of Health Professions at Loma Linda University, said participants received a 48 gram bar of bitter chocolate at the beginning of an experiment and then they ate a piece of dark chocolate every two hours they were awake for several days.
Blood tests revealed the activity of the gene influenced by chocolate, increased anti-inflammatory agents and increased the cells that fight infections, said Berk. Additional research by Berk's team examined how brain activity reacted to consumption of dark chocolate. The gamma waves recorded by an electroencephalogram (EEG) suggested that the treatment could positively affect brain function, such as cognitive function and creativity, even two hours after eating it.
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 to investigate how much dark chocolate someone should eat to affect brain function. He confesses that he eats something every day.
The research was funded by the university and is not affiliated with any chocolate company, Berk said.
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