New research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease demonstrates that a type of cocoa called lavado cocoa extract may be protective against Alzheimer’s Disease. Mice were genetically engineered to induce the disease and then fed three different types of cocoa including lavado which is miminally processed and is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. The extract reduced the formation of Aβ oligomers in the mouse brains. These are molecules which clump together blocking synaptic impulses and activating inflammation which induces nerve cell death. This is the main physiological cause of the memory defict seen in Alzheimer’s disease. Polyphenols are also found in fruit and vegetables but this is another great excuse to indulge in cocoa, especially if you have a family history, and like anything the less processed the better in my opinion.