Abstract 16156: More Frequent Chocolate Consumption is Linked to Better Word Memory
Chocolate has antioxidant and cell energy benefits in animal studies. The brain is the most energy demanding organ. We conjectured that chocolate consumption could relate to better memory performance, at least in samples without major age-induced variance (which might obviate detection in cross-sectional analysis). Subjects were 1018 adults age ≥20 (max 85) without diabetes or heart disease, who were screened for the UCSD Statin Study. The cross-sectional study assessed the frequency at which chocolate was consumed and the correct number of words recalled. The mean chocolate consumed was 2±2.5 (0-20) times per week with a mean memory score of 86± 8 words recalled. Regressions with strong standard errors (2-sided P) were performed. An age x chocolate interaction on memory (adjusted for each component factor) was strongly significant (p<0.001) supporting analysis stratified by age. A statistically strong association confined to younger age was observed. The association in younger age (<50) was examined across a range of regression models (see Table 1; CES-D = depression score). Chocolate frequency was a statistically strong and consistent predictor of performance across tested models. No other assessed variable approached comparable significance as a predictor, in any model. Adjustment for metabolic correlates of chocolate like blood pressure (BP) and body mass index (BMI) only minimally attenuated significance suggesting observed “effects” (associations) are not mediated primarily through these variables (table legend). Greater frequency of chocolate consumption showed a robust favorable relation to word recall performance. Antioxidant and energetic benefits reported for chocolate offer prospects for causality. An intervention study could be considered.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.