The first-ever drink which claims to boost memory and can even reverse cognitive decline in old age has gone on sale in Britain.
MemoMax contains concentrated levels of a naturally-occurring compound called flavanols, which are clinically proven to improve memory.
The chemicals are naturally found in foods like chocolate, but once they are processed they are almost totally lost and only exist in tiny levels.
But experts working with UK-based Medifort claim to have found a way to process a special variety of cocoa bean which does not reduce its flavanol content.
The drink provides more than 15 TIMES the amount of flavanols in a normal hot chocolate – matching the levels boffins created in the lab tests.
MemoMax claims the super-charged cocoa drink can reverse age-related memory decline by up to 30 YEARS in some cases.
It is also being marketed to students, claiming the formula can boost their exam performance.
Founder Andrew Parkinson said: “It works by using cocoa beans which have a slightly higher flavanol level than most, but it is the way that it is treated that really makes the difference.
“When you buy any chocolate or cocoa drink it contains flavanols, but when processed it is alkalized which kills off over 90 per cent of the flavanols.
“But we have found a company with a unique way to process the cocoa which doesn’t kill off the flavanols.
“The company doesn’t actually reveal how they do it – they are very protective of it.
“And after more than a year in development, Medifort are excited to announce the launch of MemoMax.”
“Recent trials in the USA have confirmed the beneficial effect of flavanols in the improvement and treatment of memory loss.
“MemoMax is the first and only formula in the UK to utilise this knowledge.”
The drink, which is made by mixing powder with milk, is based on scientific research by Columbia University Medical Centre in New York.
According to the research team, past studies suggested memory decline could be down to changes in a part of the brain called the dentate gyrus.
Flavanols found in cocoa beans have been linked to improvements in connections in the dentate gyrus of mice.
The team tested 37 healthy adults between the ages of 50 and 69, to see if the same improvements were seen in humans, and if memory would improve as a result.
For three months around half the participants were given a high flavanol diet – using a drink specially made by confectionery giant Mars, who partly funded the study.
The diet saw them consume 900mg of flavanols a day – the equivalent of more than 16 standard cocoa drinks – via the drink which was only made for test purposes.
The other people had only 10mg of flavanols a day.
Brain scans revealed those who had the drink had a better functioning dentate gyrus – measured by blood flow in the area.
The test subjects were also asked to perform a 20-minute pattern recognition task, and those on the higher flavanol diet performed better than their counterparts.
Dr Scott Small, who led the study, said: “If a participant had the memory of a typical 60-year-old at the beginning of the study, after three months that person on average had the memory of a typical 30 or 40-year-old.”
The study was published in Nature Neuroscience in 2014.
The drink formulated by Medifort has 850mg of flavanol, and is created by mixing 11g of powder with milk, and is drunk once a day.
It costs £31.50 for a month supply with discounts for multiple purchases at: www.medifort.co.uk
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