Advisory Board

Professor Ian A. MacDonald

The ScienceDaily article Boosting Brain Power — With Chocolate said

Eating chocolate could help to sharpen up the mind and give a short-term boost to cognitive skills, a University of Nottingham expert has found.
 
A study led by Professor Ian Macdonald found that consumption of a cocoa drink rich in flavanols — a key ingredient of dark chocolate — boosts blood flow to key areas of the brain for two to three hours.
 
Increased blood flow to these areas of the brain may help to increase performance in specific tasks and boost general alertness over a short period.
 
The findings, unveiled at one of the biggest scientific conferences in America, also raise the prospect of ingredients in chocolate being used to treat vascular impairment, including dementia and strokes, and thus for maintaining cardiovascular health.

Professor Ian A. Macdonald, Ph.D. is Director of Research, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Nottingham Medical School, School of Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s Medical Centre. His research interests are human metabolism and dietary alterations in health and disease, fat, carbohydrate and energy metabolism, in exercise, over- and undernutrition, metabolic disturbances in obesity and diabetes, metabolic and nutritional factors affecting cognitive function, and effects of nutrients on vascular function.
 
Ian’s current research projects are dietary control of gene expression in human skeletal muscle and adipose tissue, nutrient-gene interactions in human obesity, the effects of food products on appetite, satiety and food intake, dietary and lifestyle factors affecting postprandial glucose levels, and effects of food ingredients on vascular function.
 
He coauthored The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on the fMRI response to a cognitive task in healthy young people, Sustained endogenous glucose production, diminished lipolysis and non-esterified fatty acid appearance and oxidation in non-obese women at high risk of type 2 diabetes, Genetic Polymorphisms and Weight Loss in Obesity: A Randomized Trial of Hypo-Energetic High- versus Low-Fat Diets, Validation of a brief, reliable scale to measure knowledge about the health risks associated with obesity, and Differential regulation of metabolic genes in skeletal muscle during starvation and refeeding in humans. Read his full list of publications!
 
Ian earned a B.Sc. in Biophysics from the University of Western Ontario and a Ph.D in Physiology from the University of London.