News: News Archives
Chocolate: A Mind-Altering Experience
It's the sort of story that insists on being read, and the sort of story that's too good to be true. But in this case, you can believe. Researchers at a news briefing and symposium reported that chocolate-or the flavanols contained in fresh unprocessed chocolate-can be good for your brain.
"In essence," wrote reporter Carl Hall in the San Francisco Chronicle, "the chemicals stimulate an increase of blood flow to the brain, particularly in areas that light up during tasks that require alertness. Experiments suggest this neurovascular activity is distinct from the well-known stimulant effects of caffeine."
That, apparently, is just what the world wants to hear. The symposium was standing-room-only. Newspapers and broadcast outlets all over the world reported the story-The Hindu in India, the Jerusalem Post in Israel, the UK's Medical News Today, and the New York Times. And, of course, ConfectionaryNews.com in Montpellier, France.
Hall, in his story, offered an important caveat: "Experts cautioned that chocolate usually loses its flavanols during processing. The latest studies used a specially made laboratory drink extra-rich in flavanols."
20 February 2007