Fancy winning a Nobel Prize? Eat chocolate

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 21, 2012 05:10 hrs

It is not clear whether eating chocolate make people clever, but scientists in New York have found that the higher a country's chocolate consumption is, the more Nobel laureates it produces.

The new research is tongue-in-cheek, but it did show a surprisingly powerful scientific correlation between the amount of chocolate consumed in each country and the number of Nobel laureates it produced, lead author of the study wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Swiss, naturally, take the lead, with the Swedes and Danes following closely behind. The UK was above average in the table.

It's believed that eating chocolate might improve our ability to think as it is high in antioxidants known as flavonoids, which are also found in cocoa, green tea, red wine and some fruits.

Studies have suggested that flavonoids may improve thinking and reduce the risk of dementia by increasing the blood flow to the brain.

"Since chocolate consumption has been documented to improve cognitive function, it seems most likely that in a dose-dependent way, chocolate intake provides the abundant fertile ground needed for the sprouting of Nobel laureates," the Daily Mail quoted Dr. Franz Messerli, a Swiss doctor now working at Columbia University in New York, as writing in the journal.

When it comes to chocolate, several other researchers have suggested dark varieties might benefit the brain, the heart and even help cut excess pounds.

But to produce just one more laureate, the nation would have to up its cocoa intake by a whopping 275 million pounds a year, Dr Messerli added.

He estimates that every citizen would have to eat 400 grams of chocolate a year to increase the number of Nobel laureates in a given country by one per million inhabitants, if the correlation holds true.

And in the 'conflict of interest section' of his article, Dr Messerli does admit to daily chocolate consumption. Despite the tongue-in-cheek tone of the research, he added that he does believe chocolate has real health effects, although he warns people to stay away from the sweeter varieties and opt for dark.(ANI)

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