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Chocolate: Is it good or bad?

While some treats are known to be outright bad for you, chocolate seems to have straddled that line. Depending on the type your sweet tooth craves – whether you prefer bittersweet dark chocolate or a sugary sweet milk option – you have probably heard plenty of wildly divergent pros and cons. One minute it is called a superfood, while the next, a diet-destroying indulgence.

A new study investigates
Just to add to the confusion surrounding a food so many of us feel guilty for gorging on, The Journal of Experimental Biology has published a study on how a certain collection of compounds found in dark chocolate can affect brain health. According to ScienceDaily, the researchers behind this endeavor – two undergraduates students from the University of Calgary – knew that they wouldn't be able to isolate the impact of this one element on human brain capacity. So, instead, they decided to observe how it influenced the memory retention of snails.

But, why snails?
Pond snails reportedly have to adapt to their environments in order to breathe, as different bodies of water have their own unique oxygen levels. These snails reportedly absorb this through their skin, so, if oxygen is lacking, they have to close off the tubes that extract the element from the water, and instead send a separate breathing tube to the surface for air.

The results
Once the researchers devised a way to train the snails to alternate between these breathing methods, they then introduced flavonoids – the chocolate-based compounds being studied – into the equation. The source reports that, after exposing the snails to water that was loaded with flavonoids, the snails appeared to recall their training for longer than the standard three hours.

When the researchers attempted to "overwrite" memories formed in flavonoid-filled water, they found that those recollections were too resilient in snails to be easily extinguished.

Even in light of this new research, you may be reluctant to let your sweet tooth run rampant. To view our brain support supplements, click here.