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Cocoa Polyphenols Fight Neurodegenerative DiseasesCocoa Polyphenols Fight Neurodegenerative Diseases

April 12, 2013

1 Min Read
Cocoa Polyphenols Fight Neurodegenerative Diseases

PHILADELPHIACocoa polyphenols trigger neuroprotection by activating BDNF survival pathway, both on Aß plaque treated cells and on Aß oligomers treated cells, resulting in the counteraction of neurite dystrophy, according to a new study published in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. The findings may have important implications for prevention of cognitive impairment in elderly and in neurodegenerative diseases in counteracting diseases progression.

Our studies indicate for the first time the cocoa polyphenols do not act only as mere anti-oxidant but they, directly or indirectly, activate the BDNF survival pathway counteracting neuronal death" said lead author Annamaria Cimini of the University of LAquila.

Researchers from the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO, Center for Biotechnology at Temple University), Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University and the University of LAquila collaborated on the study.

Understanding the preventive potential and the mechanism of action of functional food may provide a means to limit cognitive impairment progression" said Antonio Giordano, founder and director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine.

Dark chocolate and cocoa powder contain higher amounts of polyphenols and flavanols than fruit juice, according to a 2011 study published in the Chemistry Central Journal. Researchers at the Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition compared antioxidant levels in cocoa powder, chocolates and superfruits and found the total flavonol and polyphenol content, as well as antioxidant activity components of cocoa powder and dark chocolate, are superior compared to acai berry, blueberry, cranberry and pomegranate.

In 2010, a study published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences found consuming a diet rich in polyphenols may reduce elevated homocysteine levels in adults with Alzheimers disease, possibly reducing the oxidative stress load and benefiting brain health.

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