Effects of long-term administration of a cocoa polyphenolic extract (Acticoa powder) on cognitive performances in aged rats

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The British journal of nutrition (Impact Factor: 3.45). 08/2008; 100(1):94-101. DOI: 10.1017/S0007114507886375
Source: PubMed


Numerous studies have indicated that increased vulnerability to oxidative stress may be the main factor involved in functional declines during normal and pathological ageing, and that antioxidant agents, such as polyphenols, may improve or prevent these deficits. We examined whether 1-year administration of a cocoa polyphenolic extract (Acticoa powder), orally delivered at the dose of 24 mg/kg per d between 15 and 27 months of age, affects the onset of age-related cognitive deficits, urinary free dopamine levels and lifespan in old Wistar-Unilever rats. Acticoa powder improved cognitive performances in light extinction and water maze paradigms, increased lifespan and preserved high urinary free dopamine levels. These results suggest that Acticoa powder may be beneficial in retarding age-related brain impairments, including cognitive deficits in normal ageing and perhaps neurodegenerative diseases. Further studies are required to elucidate the mechanisms of cocoa polyphenols in neuroprotection and to explore their effects in man.

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    • "Consumption of cocoa flavanols has been reported to result in improvements in memory and learning (Bisson et al., 2008; Spencer, 2009; Scholey et al., 2010). Both long-and short-term memory processes were improved by the consumption of cocoa polyphenolic extract, as evaluated by month-to-month or trial-to-trial performances (Bisson et al., 2008). Available evidence indicates that (−)-epicatechin does cross the blood–brain barrier, as epicatechin glucuronide and 3 -O-methyl epicatechin glucuronide have been observed in rat brain for up to 10 days af- Figure 6 Cocoa polyphenol extracts (CPE) attenuated hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 )-induced inhibition of gap-junction intercellular communication (GJIC), which is involved in tumorigenesis (Lee et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent reports on cocoa are appealing in that a food commonly consumed for pure pleasure might also bring tangible benefits for human health. Cocoa consumption is correlated with reduced health risks of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and cancer, and the health-promoting effects of cocoa are mediated by cocoa-driven phytochemicals. Cocoa is rich in procyanidins, theobromine, (-)-epicatechin, catechins, and caffeine. Among the phytochemicals present in consumed cocoa, theobromine is most available in human plasma, followed by caffeine, (-)-epicatechin, catechin, and procyanidins. It has been reported that cocoa phytochemicals specifically modulate or interact with specific molecular targets linked to the pathogenesis of chronic human diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, diabetes, and skin aging. This review summarizes comprehensive recent findings on the beneficial actions of cocoa-driven phytochemicals in molecular mechanisms of human health.
    Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 02/2014; 54(11):1458-72. DOI:10.1080/10408398.2011.641041 · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    • "The gut is not only rich in the number of lymphocytes, about 95% of the human serotonin is synthesized and stored in the gastrointestinal tract, where it acts as a paracrine messenger to modulate sensation, secretion, and motility (Gershon and Tack, 2007). Another influence on neurological functions was reported by Bisson et al. (2008) who reported a decrease of cognitive impairments, which occur normally in aged rats, after long-term treatment with cocoa extracts. "
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    ABSTRACT: Anti-inflammatory properties of cacao, fruits of Theobroma cacao L. (Sterculiaceae), are well documented, and therapeutic applications are described for gastrointestinal, nervous and cardiovascular abnormalities. Most, if not all of these disease conditions involve inflammation or immune activation processes. The pro-inflammatory cytokine interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and related biochemical pathways like tryptophan breakdown by indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and neopterin formation are deeply involved in their pathogenesis. Neopterin concentrations and the kynurenine to tryptophan ratio (Kyn/Trp, an estimate of IDO activity) are elevated in a significant proportion of patients with virus infections, cancer, autoimmune syndrome, neurodegeneration and coronary artery disease. Moreover, higher neopterin and Kyn/Trp concentrations are indicative for poor prognosis. When investigating the effect of aqueous or ethanolic extracts of cacao on IFN-γ, neopterin and Kyn/Trp concentrations in mitogen-stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, breakdown of tryptophan by IDO and formation of neopterin and IFN-γ were dose-dependently suppressed. The effects observed in the cell-based assays are associated with the antioxidant activity of the cacao extracts as determined by the cell-free oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) assay. The influence of cacao extracts on IDO activity could be of particular relevance for some of the beneficial health effects ascribed to cacao: tryptophan breakdown by IDO is strongly involved in immunoregulation, and the diminished availability of tryptophan limits the biosynthesis of neurotransmitter serotonin. The inhibition of tryptophan breakdown by cacao constituents could thus be relevant not only for immune system restoration in patients, but also contribute to mood elevation and thereby improve quality of life. However, the available data thus far are merely in vitro only and future studies need to be investigated.
    Frontiers in Pharmacology 12/2013; 4:154. DOI:10.3389/fphar.2013.00154 · 3.80 Impact Factor
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    • "The CLET apparatus (TESLA®, ETAP, France) consists of a chamber (50×40×37 cm) with a light level maintained at 1200 lux and allows the rats to escape from an aversive light stimulus by turning off the light. Two levers are included: an active one causing a 30-s period of darkness (positive reinforcement) whenever pressed down and an inactive one, which was not reinforced [31,32,64]. After 6 weeks of treatment administration, on the first and second day (Days 43 and 44) of the 7th week, each rat was continuously exposed to the brightly lit chamber during a 20 min learning acquisition session, unless an active barpress occurred (assessment of cognitive abilities, i.e. learning and working memory). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of krill oil (KO) on cognition and depression-like behaviour in rats. Methods Cognition was assessed using the Aversive Light Stimulus Avoidance Test (ALSAT). The Unavoidable Aversive Light Stimulus (UALST) and the Forced Swimming Test (FST) were used to evaluate the antidepressant-like effects of KO. Imipramine (IMIP) was used as the antidepressant reference substance. Results After 7 weeks of KO intake, both males and females treated with KO were significantly better in discriminating between the active and the inactive levers in the ALSAT from day 1 of training (p<0.01). Both KO and IMIP prevented resignation/depression on the third day in the UALST. Similarly, a shorter immobility time was observed for the KO and IMIP groups compared to the control in the FST (p<0.001). These data support a robust antidepressant-like potential and beneficial cognitive effect of KO. Changes in expression of synaptic plasticity-related genes in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were also investigated. mRNA for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) was specifically upregulated in the hippocampus of female rats receiving 7 weeks of KO supplementation (p=0.04) and a similar trend was observed in males (p=0.08). Males also exhibited an increase in prefrontal cortex expression of Arc mRNA, a key protein in long-term synaptic plasticity (p=0.05). IMIP induced clear effects on several plasticity related genes including Bdnf and Arc. Conclusions These results indicate that active components (eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and astaxanthin) in KO facilitate learning processes and provide antidepressant-like effects. Our findings also suggest that KO might work through different physiological mechanisms than IMIP.
    Lipids in Health and Disease 01/2013; 12(1):6. DOI:10.1186/1476-511X-12-6 · 2.22 Impact Factor
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