Thursday, December 6, 2012

Can chocolate make you smarter?

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East Side News

The regular warnings about chocolate and their negative impacts on people’s health may all be refuted by this study. A recent paper showed that a regular intake of cocoa (one of the main ingredients of chocolate) can help improve the mental functions in elderly people, and reduce the risks of mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to dementia and other forms of dementia diseases. Other studies revealed that mice and snails who ate chocolate had improved their memory capabilities.
Franz Messerli of Columbia University performed a study in which he counted the number of nobel laureates per 10 million population with the amount of chocolate consumed in that country. The number of nobel prize winners was to be used as a general indicator of the country’s intelligence level.. The P value was 0.0001, which means there is a 1/10,000 probability of the graph showing no correlation. The only country that didn’t quite follow the trend was Sweden because Sweden has a very high number of nobel laureates but consumes much less chocolate. However, because Sweden is the country that donates and evaluates the Nobel Prizes, Messerli has a theory that “‘the Swedes might have a slightly patriotic bias.’”
This study has an extremely high correlation, but as most know, correlation does not necessarily mean causation. Although it seems very likely that chocolate may be an important factor in the number of Nobel Prize winners in a country, more studies must be performed to consider other factors that would probably play a more crucial role in this process.

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