I LOVE HOT CHOCOLATE. I was given a gift last holiday season from Coffee Bean with 3 different flavors to make Hot Chocolate; chocolate, white vanilla, and hazelnut. I got to tell you, they are fantastic! One of my favorite drinks in grad school in Denver was Peppermint Schnaps in hot chocolate with lots and lots of whipped cream.

So when I saw this article about cocoa extract may protect brain cells from Alzheimers, I went wild. Seems that a chemical contained in the cocoa bean may offer promise in the battle against Alzheimer’s. Researchers found that lavado, a coca extract, helped prevent inflammation and damage to nerve pathways that are associated with the neurodegenerative disease. This extract contains especially abundant amounts of polyphenols, powerful antiidants that have been linked to lower risk for Alzheimers. The scientist reported that lavado cocoa appeared to prevent the formation of toxic beta-amyloid plaque, a hallmark of Alheimers that causes damage to synapses(communication points between neurons.)They think the impairment of syaptic function appears to be more important in promotin memory loss than loss of brain cells.  According to the lead researcher, “Given that cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease is thought to start decades before symptoms appear, we believe our results have broad implications for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”  (Mind, Mood, and Memory Magazine)

Now comes the bad news. Lavado cocoa is not currently generally available.

Why do researchers always find great things to help neutralize disease but unfortunately, those things are never available to the general public? I wonder if I can start growing my own cocoa tree (or plant) in the back yard and just eat the beans off the bush.