Sunday, April 12, 2009

Give Me Some Math Problems! I Have the Chocolate!

Another wonderful study from England! I'm loving this!! Now they conducted one that showed that those who ate chocolate performed better on math than those who did not. Since I still haven't done my taxes, I'll have some chocolate and get right to it!

I heard about both these studies on my favorite ever radio program Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me! Peter Sagal said if you are worried that you drank too much the night before your math exam, just have some chocolate-covered bacon!

Excerpt from the article in The Telegraph:
Mental arithmetic became easier after volunteers had been given large amounts of compounds found in chocolate, called flavanols, in a hot cocoa drink.

They were also less likely to feel tired or mentally drained, the findings, presented at the British Psychological Society annual conference in Brighton show.

For the study 30 volunteers were asked to count backwards in groups of three from a random number between 800 and 999 generated by a computer.

The findings show that they could do the calculations more quickly and more accurately after they had been given the drink.

However, the same was not true when the group was asked to count backwards in groups of seven, which the researchers described as a more complex task, requiring a slightly different part of the brain.

The findings also show that the volunteers did not get as tired doing the calculations if they had been given the cocoa drink, despite being asked to do them over and over for an hour.

The researchers gave the volunteers a total of 500mg of flavanol.

Although the amount was too great to be found naturally in the diet, researchers said that people should ensure that they have lots of flavanols, also found in fruit and vegetables, on a regular basis.

Emma Wightman, one of the study's lead researchers, said: "You can get bars of chocolate that have 100mg of flavanol, and we are also going to look at the effect of lower doses of flavanol on the brain."

Dark chocolate contains higher quantaties of the chemical than plain or milk chocolate.

Prof Kennedy added: "The amount that you are giving is more than in the diet but there is quite a lot of evidence that general amounts are protective against declining function and that kind of thing.

"The more fruit and vegetables and things that are high in polyphenols the better that is for your brain in the long run."

There's always that catch about eating fruit and vegetables and exercising, right?


David Dust said...

I guess this makes sense - I don't like chocolate, and I don't like math.


Joy said...

You don't like chocolate!!! I don't know whether to envy you or wonder about your taste buds! OK, I'll envy you. I'd drive out in the snow to get chocolate when I'm having a desperate craving.

frogponder said...

Trying to figure out how I can turn the chocolate, the math GED and my rehab moms into a graduate study project so I can have access to more, more, more chocolate...

Beth said...

Happy Easter Auntie Flame!!!

so I guess this means I get to eat all my kid's chocolate right? sounds perfectly sensible to me....


Joy said...

Work on that, FP! Sounds like a good plan to me!

Sure, Beth! Why not?

Bob said...

I'm on David's team.
No likee math.
No likee chocolate--unless it's a Peanut Butter cup.

#Debi said...

I knew I was smart to prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate...

Joy said...

I prefer milk chocolate. Sheesh! I even do that wrong! Well done, you!

Wonder Man said...

I love chocolate, but I can't do math

Jeff said...

Frankly, I don't think there is enough chocolate on the planet to improve my math skills! ;)

Berry Blog said...

I lost my checkbook last week. I'll buy some chocolate- numbers/chocolate/connection?
We didn't do a study but the rumor went around that peppermint works and our principal bought peppermints for all students during state testing. Of course there's no way of knowing whether we improved overall or not and if we did, was it the cupcakes, the bananas, or the peppermints or none of the above? We're not above old wives tales.