Science Confirms Why I'm So Smart!

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Ralph
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Science Confirms Why I'm So Smart!

Post by Ralph » Thu May 25, 2006 1:04 pm

Study: Chocolate may boost brain power
Stimulating effects might increase mental performance

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Chocolate lovers rejoice. A new study hints that eating milk chocolate may boost brain function.

"Chocolate contains many substances that act as stimulants, such as theobromine, phenethylamine, and caffeine," Dr. Bryan Raudenbush from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia noted in comments to Reuters Health.

"These substances by themselves have previously been found to increase alertness and attention and what we have found is that by consuming chocolate you can get the stimulating effects, which then lead to increased mental performance."

To study the effects of various chocolate types on brain power, Raudenbush and colleagues had a group of volunteers consume, on four separate occasions, 85 grams of milk chocolate; 85 grams of dark chocolate; 85 grams of carob; and nothing (the control condition).

After a 15-minute digestive period, participants completed a variety of computer-based neuropsychological tests designed to assess cognitive performance including memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem solving.

"Composite scores for verbal and visual memory were significantly higher for milk chocolate than the other conditions," Raudenbush told Reuters. And consumption of milk and dark chocolate was associated with improved impulse control and reaction time.

Previous research has shown that some nutrients in food aid in glucose release and increased blood flow, which may augment cognitive performance. The current findings, said Raudenbush, "provide support for nutrient release via chocolate consumption to enhance cognitive performance."
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Post by BWV 1080 » Thu May 25, 2006 2:07 pm

You are forgetting about the counterbalancing effect of that unfortunate, but aptly named phenomenon called the Dittersdorf Defect

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Post by karlhenning » Thu May 25, 2006 2:11 pm

Are you suggesting that Ralph is two syllables shy of a solfège? 8)
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Thu May 25, 2006 4:11 pm

karlhenning wrote:Are you suggesting that Ralph is two syllables shy of a solfège? 8)
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I resemble that slur!
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu May 25, 2006 6:14 pm

Was this study conducted using American pseudo-chocolate (what is that vile substance you people replace chocolate with?) or actual chocolate as the civilized world enjoys it? The first sign of increased intelligence, to my mind, would be to buy imported chocolate.

Seriously, American tastes in coffee and chocolate are foul. My mother still tells the story of my brother and I gorging ourselves on chocolate sent from home after a couple of years in the States. We just would not eat American chocolate, and as an adult my childhood opinion has been reconfirmed - and I am a coffee and chocolate junkie.

Get some Lindt choc and Illy coffee to catch a glimpse of what you are missing - if your taste buds haven't been permanently ruined.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu May 25, 2006 6:28 pm

Brendan wrote:Was this study conducted using American pseudo-chocolate (what is that vile substance you people replace chocolate with?) or actual chocolate as the civilized world enjoys it?
I don't eat a lot of chocolate - what's the difference twixt one and t'other?
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Post by Ralph » Thu May 25, 2006 6:49 pm

Brendan wrote:Was this study conducted using American pseudo-chocolate (what is that vile substance you people replace chocolate with?) or actual chocolate as the civilized world enjoys it? The first sign of increased intelligence, to my mind, would be to buy imported chocolate.

Seriously, American tastes in coffee and chocolate are foul. My mother still tells the story of my brother and I gorging ourselves on chocolate sent from home after a couple of years in the States. We just would not eat American chocolate, and as an adult my childhood opinion has been reconfirmed - and I am a coffee and chocolate junkie.

Get some Lindt choc and Illy coffee to catch a glimpse of what you are missing - if your taste buds haven't been permanently ruined.
*****

Fine chocolate is readily available. My (former) student's mother was a Belgian woman trained in her home country. She opened a store here and did very well. Wonderful treats.
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Post by Ralph » Thu May 25, 2006 6:50 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Brendan wrote:Was this study conducted using American pseudo-chocolate (what is that vile substance you people replace chocolate with?) or actual chocolate as the civilized world enjoys it?
I don't eat a lot of chocolate - what's the difference twixt one and t'other?
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EVERYTHING!!!
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu May 25, 2006 6:55 pm

Ralph wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
Brendan wrote:Was this study conducted using American pseudo-chocolate (what is that vile substance you people replace chocolate with?) or actual chocolate as the civilized world enjoys it?
I don't eat a lot of chocolate - what's the difference twixt one and t'other?
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EVERYTHING!!!
That doesn't tell me much.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu May 25, 2006 7:06 pm

Ralph,

Well, New York is civilized - and I expect that every major population centre has at least one good chocolate shop. But the standard American supermaket choc is well below world standards, IMHO.

As to the difference, well, words are inadequate. What is the difference between sunshine and gloom, the divine and the mundane, the glorious and the bland, a moment of culinary bliss and one of distaste? It's the difference between a smile as bliss melts in the mouth and a retch as one's stomach turns, to be brutal.

I really don't like mass-produced chocolate, and America has the worst of a bad bunch, IMHO. But hand-made Belgian is heavenly.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu May 25, 2006 7:12 pm

Brendan wrote:Ralph,

Well, New York is civilized - and I expect that every major population centre has at least one good chocolate shop. But the standard American supermaket choc is well below world standards, IMHO.

As to the difference, well, words are inadequate. What is the difference between sunshine and gloom, the divine and the mundane, the glorious and the bland, a moment of culinary bliss and one of distaste? It's the difference between a smile as bliss melts in the mouth and a retch as one's stomach turns, to be brutal.

I really don't like mass-produced chocolate, and America has the worst of a bad bunch, IMHO. But hand-made Belgian is heavenly.
I'm not looking for a fight here. I want information. Is it the consistency? The amount of chocolate used? The sugar? What?
Corlyss
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu May 25, 2006 7:19 pm

Corlyss,

I am not a chocolate maker, only a consumer. All I know is that good chocolate makes for an exquisite moment and mass-produced stuff has rather the opposite effect on me.

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Post by Ralph » Thu May 25, 2006 8:13 pm

Brendan wrote:Ralph,

Well, New York is civilized - and I expect that every major population centre has at least one good chocolate shop. But the standard American supermaket choc is well below world standards, IMHO.

As to the difference, well, words are inadequate. What is the difference between sunshine and gloom, the divine and the mundane, the glorious and the bland, a moment of culinary bliss and one of distaste? It's the difference between a smile as bliss melts in the mouth and a retch as one's stomach turns, to be brutal.

I really don't like mass-produced chocolate, and America has the worst of a bad bunch, IMHO. But hand-made Belgian is heavenly.
*****

Supermarkets here in upscale areas have a good offering of chocolates. Lindt is always available as is Toblerone. I happen to like Ghiradelli chocolates, an American brand.
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Thu May 25, 2006 8:14 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Brendan wrote:Ralph,

Well, New York is civilized - and I expect that every major population centre has at least one good chocolate shop. But the standard American supermaket choc is well below world standards, IMHO.

As to the difference, well, words are inadequate. What is the difference between sunshine and gloom, the divine and the mundane, the glorious and the bland, a moment of culinary bliss and one of distaste? It's the difference between a smile as bliss melts in the mouth and a retch as one's stomach turns, to be brutal.

I really don't like mass-produced chocolate, and America has the worst of a bad bunch, IMHO. But hand-made Belgian is heavenly.
I'm not looking for a fight here. I want information. Is it the consistency? The amount of chocolate used? The sugar? What?
*****

It's the ingredients and how they're mixed. I don't make chocolate at home but friends do. The first key is the quality of the cocoa used.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu May 25, 2006 8:35 pm

Ralph wrote:I'm not looking for a fight here. I want information. Is it the consistency? The amount of chocolate used? The sugar? What?
*****

It's the ingredients and how they're mixed. I don't make chocolate at home but friends do. The first key is the quality of the cocoa used.[/quote]

:shock: You mean they mess with "the food of the gods" itself? Oooooo. Unforgiveable. :evil:
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Post by Richard » Thu May 25, 2006 9:13 pm

I had and old amateur radio friend..he and his wife moved from Birmingham, England to BC, Canada, following WW II. He would say that about the only thing he missed about the UK was the chocolate that he used to be able to buy. I think it was probably Belgian chocolate. He would get his by mail-order. He contended that the difference had to do with the use of cream in the process. I checked a few web sites..I don't see anything about the use of cream. It seems, to me, the reason why Belgian chocolate is the epitome of chocolate making has to do with the process and blend of chocolates they use. But, what do I know. I like Hershey's.


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Post by John Bleau » Fri May 26, 2006 1:05 pm

Most "chocolate bars" are actually candy bars, mostly sugar with less than 5% chocolate content. I don't eat them. Even sweeteners are falling in quality, with cheap high fructose corn syrup replacing cane. This is often blamed for the obesity epidemic.

Lindt, as Brendan mentioned, is very good. I almost always have a supply of 85% chocolate on hand; I'd even go for 99%, but all I could find of that is in half-sized packages, so I get 70% more for my money from the 85% bars. http://www.lindt.com gives a lot of information on chocolate. There are many variables affecting the quality of chocolate - see their site.

There are basically two kinds of beans, criollo and forastera, with a third, trinitario being a hybrid of the two. Criollo is of the highest quality but is very fragile and forastera is very hardy. Almost all chocolate comes from the latter. I've never tried Criollo and have yet to find a chocolatier who even knows the term.

Belgians do good chocolate. They do good beer, too.

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