Could cocoa extract fight Alzheimer's?
A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease suggests a new potential treatment for the devastating condition: cocoa extract.
Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York think cocoa extract, called lavado, could reduce or block the damage to nerve pathways in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and that that could prevent the symptoms of cognitive decline. The lavado cocoa extract is high in polyphenols, which are antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables.
For the study, the researchers genetically engineered mice to mimic Alzheimer’s disease. Three cocoa extracts were tested on the mice and the lavado cocoa was found to be the most effective. It minimized the formation of Aβ oligomers--groups of molecules which clump together and disrupt structures in the brain responsible for memory circuits.
The researchers said drugs could be developed based on lavado cocoa and even that it might be possible to convert it into a dietary supplement that provides a safe and inexpensive way to prevent the disease.
The rate of Alzheimer's in the world is expected to increase dramatically by 2050.