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The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on cerebral perfusion in healthy older adults during conscious resting state: a placebo controlled, crossover, acute trial

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Lamport, D. J., Pal, D., Moutsiana, C., Field, D. T., Williams, C. M., Spencer, J. P. E. and Butler, L. T. (2015) The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on cerebral perfusion in healthy older adults during conscious resting state: a placebo controlled, crossover, acute trial. Psychopharmacology, 232 (17). pp. 3327-3234. ISSN 0033-3158

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00213-015-3972-4

Abstract/Summary

Rationale: There has recently been increasing interest in the potential of flavanols, plant derived compounds found in foods such as fruit and vegetables, to ameliorate age-related cognitive decline. Research suggests that cocoa flavanols improve memory and learning, possibly as a result of their anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. These effects may be mediated by increased cerebral blood flow (CBF), thus stimulating neuronal function. Objectives: The present study employed arterial spin labelling (ASL) functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to explore the effect of a single acute dose of cocoa flavanols on regional CBF. Methods: CBF was measured pre and post consumption of low (23mg) or high (494mg) 330ml equicaloric flavanol drinks matched for caffeine, theobromine, taste and appearance according to a randomised counterbalanced crossover double-blind design in eight males and ten females, aged 50-65 years. Changes in perfusion from pre to post consumption were calculated as a function of each drink. Results: Significant increases in regional perfusion across the brain were observed following consumption of the high flavanol drink relative to the low flavanol drink, particularly in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the central opercular cortex of the parietal lobe. Conclusions: Consumption of cocoa flavanol improves regional cerebral perfusion in older adults. This provides evidence for a possible acute mechanism by which cocoa flavanols are associated with benefits for cognitive performance.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Human Nutrition Research Group
ID Code:40340
Publisher:Springer Verlag

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