Can chocolate fight Alzheimer’s?

Can chocolate fight Alzheimer’s?

Dark chocolate is quickly becoming a superfood. Organic extra dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) is packed with nutrition. There are so many reasons to eat dark chocolate.

It is important to eat the right kind of chocolate, as some are loaded with sugar or artificial ingredients. Dutched chocolate should be avoided, as it is treated with an alkalizing agent to modify its color. This gives it a milder taste, but destroys most of its healthy polyphenols.

Research has shown that chocolate can help reduce blood pressure, and even prevent heart disease. But can chocolate fight Alzheimer’s?

Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti, professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY and his research team have found a connection between chocolate consumption and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The authors explain that the polyphenols in chocolate can cross the blood-brain barrier and protect areas in which diseases such as Alzheimer’s are developed.

For example, we found that one of the polyphenol metabolites, quercetin-3-O-glucoside, is capable of crossing the BBB [blood-brain barrier], accumulating in the brain, and modulating [beta-amyloid] neuropathogenic mechanisms,” the authors stated.

By preventing harmful build up of proteins like amyloid-beta, which is a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s, the researchers believe that chocolate can be useful in prevention of the brain disease. Although they do add that more research needs to be conducted to confirm these benefits.

Successful translational studies of cocoa extracts in clinical settings will require coordinated research efforts bridging together development of new sources of cocoa extract, improved standardized methodologies for quantitative detection of polyphenols from cocoa preparations, and investigations on the effect of cocoa processing and the biological availability and biological activities of cocoa polyphenols,” the authors conclude.

The results of the study were published in IOS Press.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Could Cocoa Hold the Key to Alzheimer’s Prevention?Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2015.
2. “Recommendations for Development of New Standardized Forms of Cocoa Breeds and Cocoa Extract Processing for the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease: Role of Cocoa in Promotion of Cognitive Resilience and Healthy Brain Aging.” IOS Press. IOS Press, n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2015.

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