Dark chocolate improves memory in snails
When Lee Fruson, an undergraduate at the University of Calgary, wanted to test the effect of the dark chocolate flavonoid epicatechin, he decided to use the pond snail, which at baseline can remember only one trained task at a time.
Testing the effects of a single compound on human memory can be difficult, so when Lee Fruson, an undergraduate at the University of Calgary, wanted to test the effect of the dark chocolate flavonoid epicatechin, he decided to use the pond snail, which at baseline can remember only one trained task at a time.
The study took an interesting turn when Fruson added 15 mg of epicatechin to the water. One day later, the snails in the epicatechin water still remembered not to use their breathing tubes, while the control group always broke after about three hours. When Fruson decided to overwrite this memory to test its strength, the control group snails broke immediately, while the epicatechin snails refused to lift their breathing tubes, suggesting that even days later, they still remembered that doing so may result in an uncomfortable tap.
Possible benefits of dark chocolate
Beyond the potential for having positive effects on memory, further research shows evidence that dark chocolate may also lower the risk of stroke for both sexes. During the study, published in the journal Neurology, two ounces of dark chocolate per week resulted in a 17 percent lower chance of experiencing a stroke.
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