Eating dark chocolate may protect your brain from age-related stress and inflammation that are thought to play an important role in the neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The beneficial effects of consuming dark chocolate were seen in people’s memory, researchers told. Oxidative stress and inflammation increase with aging and are thought to play an important role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers from the University of California San Diego in the US showed in a new study that the epicatechin (Epi) help reduces harmful oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in a mouse model of aging. Epicatechin (Epi) is a flavanol found in foods such as dark chocolate.
Just two weeks of treatment with epicatechin not only suppressed the level 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 treated 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.