March 8, 2021
Life Style


Research has revealed that cocoa contains nutrients like iron, magnesium, phosphorus and antioxidants that could fortify one’s immune system to resist the damaging effects of COVID-19.

The polyphenols in cocoa are antioxidants that prevent free radicals from damaging cells. Due to its abundance in these compounds, cocoa has a higher potential antioxidant capacity.

In a clinical trial on 48 healthy people, consuming flavanol-rich cocoa improved antioxidant status (by increasing glutathione levels and reducing oxidative damage markers such as oxidized LDL and F2-isoprostane), especially at high doses. In another trial on 100 men, cocoa protected blood fats from oxidation.

In a clinical trial on 38 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, dark chocolate prevented the production of free radicals by blocking an enzyme that produces them (NOX2) .

In 2 small trials on 36 athletes, cocoa flavanols increased antioxidant capacity before and during exercise. To sum up, the evidence suggests that cocoa’s polyphenols may be antioxidant in humans

Flavonoids, mainly catechin and epicatechin, may play a role in brain health enhancing its function, creating new brain cells, and even reversing brain damage in conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

These compounds cross the blood-brain barrier and localize in areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning, which is where most neurodegeneration occurs.

In 3 clinical trials on over 100 healthy adults, acute consumption of cocoa improved working memory, spatial memory, and visual search efficiency. However, dark chocolate only improved mood but had no effect on cognition in another trial on 72 middle-aged people.

Cocoa also preserved cognitive decline in elderly adults by preserving white matter integrity and protecting a brain region whose decline is associated with memory impairment in (dentate gyrus).

Three small studies on 30 volunteers showed that cocoa flavanols increase blood flow in the brain in both young and elderly people.

Again, limited evidence suggests that cocoa’s flavonoids may improve some cognitive functions and help prevent cognitive decline in elderly people. Further clinical research should determine how to use it for this purpose.


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