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Chocolate may boost brain health, new study finds

Chocolate may boost brain health, new study finds
A new study found that drinking hot cocoa may improve brain function. (Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times)

Chocolate consumption could be good for brain health, according to a new study published in the journal Neurology. Anyone who has a secret chocolate drawer at work, feel free to do a little happy dance.

The study, published by the journal Neurology, specifically focused on how drinking hot cocoa affected 60 people age 72 or older. The test subjects were asked to drink two cups of cocoa a day for one month.

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Some of the people in the study who initially performed poorly on a memory and reasoning test showed improvement in both cognitive function and blood flow after imbibing. Those who performed well initially on the same test did not show any improvement after drinking the cocoa.

Our sister blog, Science Now, explains that the researchers are trying to determine whether chocolate -- and, specifically, chocolate high in the antioxidant flavanol -- could improve brain and blood vessel functioning. Data gleaned from the study could one day help scientists screen people for risk of dementia.

Really, though, this study told us what we've all wanted to hear since we were kids: Drinking hot cocoa is better than not drinking hot cocoa.

Chalk it up as another win for chocolate lovers. As if we really needed another reason to indulge.

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