Based on findings of a recent study researchers say Cocoa flavonols, shown to benefit heart health, may also have an impact on the brain. Cocoa flavonols were found to increase blood flow to key areas of the brain.
In a study on 16 healthy young women, researcher tested the brain's activation during cognitive tasks using functional MRI. The participants were asked to consume a flavonol-rich CocoaVia drink made by Mars once a day for five days prior to the study. The drink contained 150mg of flavonols.
Researchers say they found that high cocoa flavonol drink was associated with a higher blood flow response to selective areas of the brain. However researchers feel that further research should be added to look at whether the flavonols actually offered any benefit on occasions when people are tired or for people with mild cognitive difficulties.
Studies in the past have shown that cocoa flavanols appear to increase synthesis of nitric oxide by blood vessels, increasing blood flow thus suggesting that cocoa flavanols could aid in treatment of serious vascular complications associated with long-term diabetes.