Two cups a day might keep the doctor away

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

cocoa yum
Magical chocolate elixir of memory boosting? Could be.

Oh, I love a steaming cup of hot chocolate on fresh chilly days. With fall coming, I can’t wait to pile whip cream on that chocolatey goodness and feel the warmth spread to my fingers and toes. It always puts a smile on my face and leaves a great memory behind. Speaking of memories, a study from Harvard University says that hot chocolate may help improve my memory!

The researchers gathered a group of 70 people and measured how much blood was flowing to their brains. You see, better flow has been linked with better thinking skills. Some of the participants had great flow, while others had not-so-good-flow.

Then, the group had to drink two cups of hot chocolate everyday. Lo and behold, at the end of the study, 88% of the people with bad blood flow showed major improvements! Even those who had normal blood flow showed a 37% improvement in thinking skills. When the group took a memory test at the end of the study, they were able to remember much more than they could before.

“As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow,” said Dr. Farzaneh Sorond, a neurologist from Harvard. “This relationship, called neurovascular coupling, may play an important role in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.”

Who would have thought such a tasty treat could be so good for us! I want to go home and make myself a warm steaming cup right now! However, the researchers warn that I should hold my horses. Apparently, they need to do some more studies before they say two cups every day are definitely good for us.

“A cocoa-based treatment would likely be very popular, but it’s too soon to draw any conclusions about its effects,” said Dr. Simon Ridley from Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Aw man, I guess I shouldn’t immediately start drinking two cups a day, but one tiny little cup later today won’t hurt me!