We all have vices and manias, some confessibles and others quite common, but also more or less harmful to health. The lovers of dark chocolate , among which I include myself, is part of what is considered a healthy habit due to the great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power of cocoa .

Eating chocolate and feeling how it melts in the mouth produces a feeling of euphoria and pleasure. In addition, it helps to reduce stress and improve our mood . It not only tops the list of comfort food or food in which we think to feel good, but chocolate even has the reputation of being the perfect substitute for sex .

The cocoa gift from the gods to mankind for the Aztec people, has been studied by the scientific community on many occasions. The latest findings of researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York (USA), reveal that cocoa can be a great ally to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline .

This new study adds to previous research that already suggested that the wonderful cocoa beans have components that act in the prevention of degenerative pathologies of the brain. In particular, it has now been proven in the laboratory that cocoa extract has the ability to counteract the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s.

The experts used genetically modified mice to develop the disease and analyze the effects of dutched, washed and natural cocoa extracts, which have different levels of polyphenols. Likewise, the three types of cocoa extracts were evaluated according to their ability to reduce the formation of sticky lumps in the brain – in scientific jargon, beta-amyloid oligomers – that damage nerve cells.

The results of the study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease , conclude that washed cocoa contains a higher level of polyphenols and greater anti-inflammatory action , thus being the most effective in reducing the formation of beta-amyloid oligomers in mice and, for Therefore, a method of prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia .

The data we currently use suggests that the washed cocoa extract, grain that is not fermented, could prevent the accumulation of beta-amyloid protein from causing brain damage. The explanation lies once again in polyphenols , antioxidants – present also in fruits and vegetables – that protect cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.

Now that there is experimental evidence that washed cocoa extract helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease – counteracting damage to nerve pathways in the brain even before symptoms appear – the possibility of further studies coming up with an eye on possible pharmacological solutions.