The good stuff improves brain performance

by HCA21 Sep 2012

While spare few workplaces don’t offer tea and coffee facilities to staff, it would be a much harder task to find ones that throw in wine and chocolate as well.

But a team of researchers from Oxford University’s Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics found a link between heightened cognitive activity and consumption of wine, tea and chocolate, and the findings were reported in the Journal of Nutrition.

A study of 2,031 mature age people (between the ages of 70 and 74), saw participants provide information about their habitual food intake and then undergo a series of cognitive tests.

Those who consumed wine, tea and chocolate had significantly better mean test scores and lower prevalence of poor cognitive performance than those who did not consume the items.

“Participants who consumed all three studied items had the best test scores and the lowest risks for poor test performance. The associations between intake of these foodstuffs and cognition were dose dependent, with maximum effect at intakes of 10 g/d for chocolate and 75–100 mL/d for wine, but approximately linear for tea,” the researchers recorded.

The researchers said their findings seemed to support the theory that consumption of the foods and beverage studied had an effect on increased brain performance, and wine produced the most pronounced effect.

However, the team emphasised that additional research was needed, and moderation remained the key to consumption.

Additionally, the research only applied to dark chocolate, 70% cocoa or higher!