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Benefits Of Dark Chocolate: From Weight Loss To Treating Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disorders

First Posted: Apr 24, 2017 05:50 AM EDT

Dark chocolate is a food item that is savored by people across the globe. It is used to make chocolate bars, syrups, cakes, brownies and whatnots. Recent discovery of the potential health implications of dark chocolate, especially in lowering high blood pressure and weight loss, has promoted it as a health food rather than just as a component of desserts.

Research studies on the possible benefits of dark chocolate are still going on, and it is speculated that scientists are yet to identify many more hidden benefits of eating dark chocolate. According to a recent publication made in The Journal of Experimental Biology, along with the previously identified health benefits, dark chocolate also helps in reverting the adverse effects of age-induced oxidative stress in brain cells, Asian Age reported.

The published study was conducted by a group of researchers from the School of Medicine, University of California. The researchers administered controlled amounts of epicatechin, the flavanol found in dark chocolates, and made extensive analyses of the physiological changes that followed. After two weeks of treatment, it was observed that the epicatechin-administered mice had reduced levels of chronic inflammation in neurons, News Nation reported.

It was also observed that the reduction of neuro-inflammation levels was simultaneous with improved memory and anxiety levels. The authors also studied the effect of epicatechin on the level of expression of mitochondrial biogenetic modulators, especially in the prefrontal region of the brain. Biochemical analysis of the collected brain samples of these mice models indicated that the flavanol was effective in suppressing the expression of carbonyl proteins and malondialdehyde (OS markers). This exerts a rejuvenating impact on the brain cells and helps them to recover from the cellular damage inflicted upon them due to aging, according to Live Mint.

The study results imply that regular intake of controlled portions of dark chocolate can help in preventing the occurrence of neurodegenerative disorders associated with old age. The researchers also proposed that the same can be used as a remedial treatment method for patients with chronic neurological disorders including Alzheimer's disease.

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