PHS editor and Harlequin Historical author Michelle Styles whose mother in law is
currently in the later stages of dementia looks at some new and exciting research.
Earlier this week it was reported that lavado processed cocoa could prevent dementia. Researchers at Mt Sinai found that lavado cocoa extract rather than Dutch processed cocoa extract helped to reduce or block damage to nerve pathways. They are now working on a dietary supplement.
The Ductch processed had too much alkaline but the lavado (minimally processed) actually worked.
This follows research by the Harvard Medical School last year which showed two cups of hot chocolate per day helped improve brain function in the over 70s. In this study, it did not seem to make a difference what sort of hot chocolate was drunk.
However, the Mt Sinai team appear to have expanded on the idea.
Much more research needs to be done on the relationship between cocoa, and improved blood flow to the brain.
So what to do if you are worried about memory loss? Rather than going for coffee, try drinking hot chocolate, particularly lavado. Dark chocolate may also have an affect on blood pressure.
The very old fashioned way of drinking hot chocolate in the coffee houses was to serve a bitter chocolate and add the sugar yourself. Perhaps it is time we got back to this. It is not just a children's drink!