A research from Loma Linda University shows there might be health benefits to eating certain dark chocolate. Findings from two studies show that consuming dark chocolate that has a high concentration of cacao has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity. While it is well known that cacao is a major source of flavonoids, this is the first time the effect has been studied in human subjects to determine how it can support cognitive, endocrine and cardiovascular health.
For years, Loma Linda researchers looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions. These studies have shown that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects. The flavonoids found in cacao are extremely potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, with known mechanisms beneficial for brain and cardiovascular health. The following results have been presented in the Experimental Biology 2018 meeting:
Dark Chocolate (70% Cacao) Affects Human Gene Expression: Cacao Regulates Cellular Immune Response, Neural Signaling, and Sensory Perception
- This pilot feasibility experimental trial examined the impact of 70 percent cacao chocolate consumption on human immune and dendritic cell gene expression, with focus on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Study findings show cacao consumption up-regulates multiple intracellular signaling pathways involved in T-cell activation, cellular immune response and genes involved in neural signaling and sensory perception — the latter potentially associated with the phenomena of brain hyperplasticity.
Dark Chocolate (70% Organic Cacao) Increases Acute and Chronic EEG Power Spectral Density (μv2) Response of Gamma Frequency (25-40Hz) for Brain Health: Enhancement of Neuroplasticity, Neural Synchrony, Cognitive Processing, Learning, Memory, Recall, and Mindfulness Meditation
- This study assessed the electroencephalography (EEG) response to consuming 48 g of dark chocolate (70% cacao) after an acute period of time (30 mins) and after a chronic period of time (120 mins), on modulating brain frequencies 0-40Hz, specifically beneficial gamma frequency (25-40Hz). Findings show that this superfood of 70 percent cacao enhances neuroplasticity for behavioral and brain health benefits.
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