Good news for chocolate lovers! If you eat dark chocolate, your brain is protected from age-related stress and inflammation which have an important role in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
The beneficial effects of consuming dark chocolate were seen on people’s memory, researchers told.
With ageing, oxidative stress and inflammation increase and these are thought to play an important role in development of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
In a new study, researchers from the University of California San Diego in the US showed that the epicatechin (Epi) help reduce harmful oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in a mouse model of ageing. Epicatechin (Epi) is a flavanol found in foods such as dark chocolate.
Two weeks treatment with epicatechin not only helped in suppressing the levels of oxidative stress and neuroinflammation that would normally be at a high level in this mouse model, but also helped improve memory and anxiety levels in mice.
"We previously reported on the beneficial effects of treatment with the cacao flavanol on ageing-induced oxidative stress and capacity to restore modulators of mitochondrial biogenesis in the prefrontal cortex of 26-month-old mice," researchers said.
"In the current study, using a similar mouse model of ageing, we examined the capacity of Epi to mitigate hippocampus oxidative stress and inflammation leading to improved memory and anxiety levels," they said.
Male mice were treted for two weeks and their brain samples were collected for the assessment of relevant endpoints.
The assessment of the OS markers protein carbonyls and malondialdehyde levels show significant increases with ageing that are suppressed by Epi.
The research was published in the journal Experimental Biology.