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7:00am, January 14, 2015

Concerned about cocoa

High doses of a cocoa antioxidant boost blood flow in the hippocampus, an important brain area for learning and memory. In “Cocoa antioxidant sweetens cognition in elderly” (SN: 12/27/14, p. 5), Bethany Brookshire described how these molecules, called flavanols, also improve older people’s ability to tell complex visual patterns apart.

Commenters on the medical journal site PubMed expressed concerns that the study did not meet standards for clinical trial reporting. Before performing a study with human volunteers, scientists must register their experiments on, an online database maintained by the National Institutes of Health. But

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