Recommendations for Development of New Standardized Forms of Cocoa Breeds and Cocoa Extract Processing for the Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease: Role of Cocoa in Promotion of Cognitive Resilience and Healthy Brain Aging.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2015 ;48(4):879-89. PMID: 26402120
It is currently thought that the lackluster performance of translational paradigms in the prevention of age-related cognitive deteriorative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), may be due to the inadequacy of the prevailing approach of targeting only a single mechanism. Age-related cognitive deterioration and certain neurodegenerative disorders, including AD, are characterized by complex relationships between interrelated biological phenotypes. Thus, alternative strategies that simultaneously target multiple underlying mechanisms may represent a more effective approach to prevention, which is a strategic priority of the National Alzheimer's Project Act and the National Institute on Aging. In this review article, we discuss recent strategies designed to clarify the mechanisms by which certain brain-bioavailable, bioactive polyphenols, in particular, flavan-3-ols also known as flavanols, which are highly represented in cocoa extracts, may beneficially influence cognitive deterioration, such as in AD, while promoting healthy brain aging. However, we note that key issues to improve consistency and reproducibility in the development of cocoa extracts as a potential future therapeutic agent requires a better understanding of the cocoa extract sources, their processing, and more standardized testing including brain bioavailability of bioactive metabolites and brain target engagement studies. The ultimate goal of this review is to provide recommendations for future developments of cocoa extracts as a therapeutic agent in AD.