Ian MacDonald of England's University of Nottingham reported on tests given to young women who were asked to do a complex task while their brains were being studied with magnetic resonance imaging.
Among the women given drinks of cocoa high in flavanols, there was a significant increase in blood flow to the brain compared with subjects who did not drink the cocoa, he said.
This raises the prospect of using flavanols in the treatment of dementia, marked by decreased blood flow in the brain, and in maintaining overall cardiovascular health, he said...
Hagen Schroeter of Mars Inc., the candy company that paid for some of the research reported Sunday, said that cocoa long has been studied for potential medical benefits. He noted that in addition to cocoa, flavanols occur in other foods such as fruits, tea and wine that have been associated with dilation of the arteries.
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