Swiss cognitive function, measured in Nobels, and chocolate consumption, measured by sales, both high
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A tip, maybe, from the Swiss, who are the world’s innovation winners and who, by 2011, had garnered more Nobel prizes per capita than any other nation: keep eating certain fruits and chocolate and drinking green tea and red wine. These are four food sources that contain flavanols, a sub-class of flavonoids, which a number of studies have shown improve cognitive function.
“Chocolate consumption enhances cognitive function, which is a sine qua non for winning the Nobel Prize, and it closely correlates with the number of Nobel laureates in each country. It remains to be determined whether the consumption of chocolate is the underlying mechanism for the observed association with improved cognitive function,” concludes Dr Franz H Messerli, renowned cardiologist at St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, in the 10 October New England Journal of Medicine.
Study limitations, yes, but nothing wrong with his math
He does admit to limitations to his study: “The present data are based on country averages, and the specific chocolate intake of individual Nobel laureates of the past and present remains unknown. The cumulative dose of chocolate that is needed to sufficiently increase the odds of being asked to travel to Stockholm is uncertain. This research is evolving, since both the number of Nobel laureates and chocolate consumption are time-dependent variables and change from year to year.”
His research “notes” are just that, and not a peer-reviewed scholarly article for the prestigious American journal, we hasten to add.
Dr Messerli obtained his medical degree at the University of Bern in Switzerland in 1968.
“Dr Messerli reports regular daily chocolate consumption, mostly but not exclusively in the form of Lindt’s dark varieties,” the NEJM adds, in its footnotes.