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Beneficial Effects of Dark Chocolate for Episodic Memory in Healthy Young Adults: A Parallel-Groups Acute Intervention with a White Chocolate Control

School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading RG1 1AR, UK
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Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020483
Received: 31 December 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2020 / Accepted: 10 February 2020 / Published: 14 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemicals and Human Health)
There is good evidence that cocoa flavonoids can acutely improve cognitive function in humans, possibly via mechanisms such as increased cerebral blood flow. To date, much of the evidence is based on measures of executive function with extracts and cocoa-based interventions with a high flavonoid content. The aim of the present study was to explore whether benefits to episodic verbal memory and mood are observed two hours post consumption of a commercially available dark chocolate (DC) bar relative to a 35 g white chocolate bar (WC). Ninety-eight healthy young adults (n = 57 females) aged 18–24 years consumed either a 35 g DC bar or a calorie-matched low flavonoid WC bar. Verbal episodic memory and mood were assessed pre consumption and 2 h post consumption. An ANOVA analysis showed that the DC was associated with better verbal memory performance for several outcome measures of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test relative to the WC, however, there were no effects on mood. These findings lend support to the notion that everyday available portions of dark chocolate can confer benefits to the brain in healthy consumers. View Full-Text
Keywords: cocoa; flavonoids; polyphenols; cognition; cognitive function; memory; episodic memory cocoa; flavonoids; polyphenols; cognition; cognitive function; memory; episodic memory
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Lamport, D.J.; Christodoulou, E.; Achilleos, C. Beneficial Effects of Dark Chocolate for Episodic Memory in Healthy Young Adults: A Parallel-Groups Acute Intervention with a White Chocolate Control. Nutrients 2020, 12, 483.

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