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Study says chocolate helps brain function

LONDON, April 3 (UPI) -- People who binge on chocolate could find mentally challenging tasks less exhausting, says a study presented to the British Psychology Society.

That's because compounds found in chocolate called flavanols increase the flow of blood to the brain, said David Kennedy, director of the brain, performance and nutrition research center at Northumbria University.

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"For things that are difficult to do, mentally demanding things that maybe crop up in your work, it could help," said Kennedy, co-author of the study presented to the society at its annual conference in Brighton.

Kennedy's team asked 30 volunteers to count backwards in groups of three from a random number between 800 and 999, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday. The volunteers performed calculations more quickly, after drinking hot cocoa containing 500 mg of flavanol, Kennedy said.

The study noted some bars of chocolate available for sale to the public contain as much as 100 mg of flavanol, and dark chocolate contains more of the chemical than milk chocolate.

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