A recent study in the journal “Hypertension” has linked flavanols with improved memory and brain function among people with mild cognitive impairment. The study consisted of 90 elderly people with the aforementioned cognitive impairments. Each participant was given a dose of flavanols (990 mg, 520 mg, or 45 mg) each day.
Flavanols contain a high level of antioxidants. While much remains unknown with regard to the effectiveness of antioxidants on human health, there is no doubt that chocolate, specifically dark chocolate, contains vast amounts of the substance. More on this later.
The researchers then conducted a series of experiments designed to test cognitive function, coordination, task-switching, and memory.
According to the researchers, the participants given the higher dosages of flavanols showed significantly higher scores than those who received the lower dosages. They also had lower levels of “insulin resistance, blood pressure, and oxidative stress.”
While this study is undoubtedly good news, the skeptic in me still has a few questions. Earlier, I mentioned that flavanols are abundantly found in chocolate. Well, it turns out that this study was commissioned by Mars, Inc, the makers of M&Ms, Snickers, and Twix candy. While corporate sponsorship of research is common, it still raises a few questions. This study needs to be redone by independent scientists using far more than 90 participants.
As a nursing home lawyer, I’m always happy to see any advancements in the field of Alzheimer’s and dementia care and prevention. Nursing home residents who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s are our society’s most vulnerable.
If further studies prove that the link between improved cognitive function and flavanols is valid, nursing homes should be the first places to adopt their use.
If you have a loved one who is in an Illinois nursing home, and you feel they may be the victims of nursing home neglect, contact my law offices for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. At my law firm we never charge a fee unless we take, and win, your case.