Scientists now say that it may be possible to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s Disease by consuming chocolate. Results of a study just published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease indicate that nutrients in cocoa extract can protect the brain from age-related degeneration. The study was led by Dr Giulio Maria Pasinetti, Professor of Neurology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

The key ingredients are called polyphenols. These micronutrients prevent harmful proteins like beta-amyloid from forming in the brain and leading to cognitive decline. Cocoa polyphenols even help to clear out harmful proteins that have already accumulated in the brain. Their benefits are so strong, said the scientists, that they could envision the development of “chocolate pills” for people to take.

To get the full benefit, the chocolate must be made from a cocoa extract that’s processed in a very special way. Dr. Pasinetti said, “Interestingly, two of the most common processing techniques for the chocolate we consume have been reported to result in the loss of as much as 90 percent of the polyphenols in cocoa.

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