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November 16, 2016 by Joseph Fermin 5 Comments

The Health Benefits Of Raw Cacao 5 (3)

The Benefits Of Raw Cacao

Today’s media is full of reports about so-called “superfoods.” While most of these reports are based on some level of fact, misrepresentation or poor interpretation of medical and scientific findings often leads to misinformation and sensational yet misleading headlines. A prime example of this is raw cacao. The health benefits of raw cacao are astounding; however, this, unfortunately, does not necessarily mean that eating a bar of milk chocolate each day will have the same effects. Read on to learn more about the ways in which raw cacao can improve your health and how to take full advantage.

What is Raw Cacao?

Cacao-based products are made from cacao beans and include cacao powder, nibs, paste, and butter. raw cacao

When purchasing raw cacao products such as powder, it is important to understand the differences between raw cacao powder and the more common cocoa powder. Raw cacao powder is very pure. It is made from raw, unroasted cocoa beans via a process known as cold pressing, which removes the fat in the form of cacao butter; much of the bean and nutrients remain intact.

Cacao is one of the best sources of flavonoids (which are potent antioxidants) available, which means that it has huge health benefits. It is also rich in protein, cholesterol-free and monounsaturated fats, fiber, natural carbohydrates, and minerals (including zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, and calcium).

Cocoa powder is produced in a similar way to cacao powder, except that it undergoes high-temperature processing during production. Although it retains significant health benefits, the high temperatures used to destroy some of the nutritional value. As cocoa undergoes further processing to make reduced-strength dark chocolate and milk chocolate, increasing amounts of the nutrients are removed. Therefore, raw cacao powder, cocoa powder, or very strong dark chocolate are recommended for optimal health benefits.

what-is-raw-cacao

Cardiovascular benefits

Many people are at an increased risk of cardiovascular events as they age. The good news is that the consumption of certain foods can help reduce this risk. Cocoa-based products can have significant beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system by reducing cardiovascular risk and atherosclerosis, improving circulation, lowering the levels of LDL (bad) and increasing the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, and reducing blood pressure. Many of these effects are caused by the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the flavonoids.

  • Cacao- and cocoa-based products can reduce hypertension. For example, the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study was performed in 90 elderly individuals who received cocoa-based drinks with high, medium, or low flavonoid content. Blood pressure was reduced significantly in patients that received high- or medium-content cocoa compared with those that received low flavonoid cocoa [1]. The subjects also exhibited improved insulin resistance and reduced lipid peroxidation.
  • Cardiovascular function. A recent study assessed vascular stiffness in healthy younger (<35) and older (50–80) men who drank cocoa or a control drink twice a day for two weeks. The subjects who drank cocoa exhibited significantly improved cardiovascular function, as measured by improved endothelial function, blood pressure, and vascular stiffness [2]. A second similar study confirmed these effects and also indicated that the consumption of high-flavonoid chocolate improved platelet aggregation (an indicator of the ability of the blood to form clots) compared with low flavonoid chocolate [3].
  • Cholesterol. Several studies have investigated the ability of cocoa and cacao to improve cholesterol. For example, consuming 400 g cocoa powder with 500 ml skimmed milk per day increased HDL and lowered LDL cholesterol levels in elderly subjects at high risk of cardiovascular disease [4]. Similar observations were made in young healthy and hypercholesterolemic subjects [5] and in elderly healthy individuals [6].

cacao

Cognitive function

The available data suggest that cocoa and cacao could help protect against cognitive decline in aging individuals.

  • In the same CoCoA study described above, subjects that received cocoa with a high or medium flavonoid content had significant improvements in two different measures of cognitive function: a trail making test and a verbal fluency test. The improvements were greatest in the high flavonoid vs. the intermediate flavonoid group. However, there were no improvements in the mini-mental state evaluation among groups [1].
  • Cocoa and cacao might also protect against dementia and related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease [7].

Metabolic Effects

The risk of metabolic diseases often increases as we age, and conditions such as diabetes and obesity are associated with reduced mortality. Luckily, cocoa could help reduce the risk of these conditions and their symptoms. Possibly the most important metabolic effect of cocoa is its ability to improve insulin sensitivity. In one study, subjects received dark or white chocolate (with high and zero flavonoid content, respectively), and insulin sensitivity was assessed using glucose tolerance tests and the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index. Dark, but not white, chocolate significantly improved both measures of insulin sensitivity and reduced blood pressure [8].

Hormonal Changes

The symptoms of many aging-related diseases have been linked to reduced hormone levels over time. Therefore, improving natural hormone production can reduce the symptoms of many aging-related diseases. Cocoa can have beneficial effects on the production of several hormones.

  • Testosterone Injections. Cocoa and cacao contain high concentrations of zinc, which has been shown to increase testosterone production [9].
  • Stress hormones. We all know that nice, relaxed feeling that occurs when we eat a delicious, rich piece of dark chocolate. It turns out that there is a physiological reason for this! Cocoa can potently inhibit the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Healthy men aged 20–50 who consumed a single piece of dark chocolate had a significantly reduced response to a psychosocial stressor. These effects were caused by inhibiting the release of the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine from the adrenal gland [10].

So, there you have it! Cocoa really is a super-food. It is not only delicious but, when eaten in unprocessed forms, it has significant health benefits.

Testosterone Injections – Curious about testosterone injections Therapy? Read more about what you can expect from this treatment and contact us for more information (866) 224-5698

References

[1] D. Mastroiacovo, C. Kwik-Uribe, D. Grassi, S. Necozione, A. Raffaele, L. Pistacchio, R. Righetti, R. Locale, M.C. Lechiara, C. Marini, C. Ferri, G. Desideri, Cocoa flavanol consumption improves cognitive function, blood pressure control, and metabolic profile in elderly subjects: the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study–a randomized controlled trial, The American journal of clinical nutrition, 101 (2015) 538-548.

[2] C. Heiss, R. Sansone, H. Karimi, M. Krabbe, D. Schuler, A. Rodriguez-Mateos, T. Kraemer, M.M. Cortese-Krott, G.G. Kuhnle, J.P. Spencer, H. Schroeter, M.W. Marx, M. Kelm, Impact of cocoa flavanol intake on age-dependent vascular stiffness in healthy men: a randomized, controlled, double-masked trial, Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands), 37 (2015) 9794.

[3] G. Rull, Z.N. Mohd-Zain, J. Shiel, M.H. Lundberg, D.J. Collier, A. Johnston, T.D. Warner, R. Corder, Effects of high flavanol dark chocolate on cardiovascular function and platelet aggregation, Vascular Pharmacology, 71 (2015) 70-78.

[4] N. Khan, M. Monagas, C. Andres-Lacueva, R. Casas, M. Urpi-Sarda, R.M. Lamuela-Raventos, R. Estruch, Regular consumption of cocoa powder with milk increases HDL cholesterol and reduces oxidized LDL levels in subjects at high-risk of cardiovascular disease, Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD, 22 (2012) 1046-1053.

[5] S. Martinez-Lopez, B. Sarria, J.L. Sierra-Cinos, L. Goya, R. Mateos, L. Bravo, Realistic intake of a flavanol-rich soluble cocoa product increases HDL-cholesterol without inducing anthropometric changes in healthy and moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects, Food & function, 5 (2014) 364-374.

[6] N. Neufingerl, Y.E. Zebregs, E.A. Schuring, E.A. Trautwein, Effect of cocoa and theobromine consumption on serum HDL-cholesterol concentrations: a randomized controlled trial, The American journal of clinical nutrition, 97 (2013) 1201-1209.

[7] L. Dubner, J. Wang, L. Ho, L. Ward, G.M. Pasinetti, 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, Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD, 48 (2015) 879-889.

[8] D. Grassi, C. Lippi, S. Necozione, G. Desideri, C. Ferri, Short-term administration of dark chocolate is followed by a significant increase in insulin sensitivity and a decrease in blood pressure in healthy persons, The American journal of clinical nutrition, 81 (2005) 611-614.

[9] C.D. Hunt, P.E. Johnson, J. Herbel, L.K. Mullen, Effects of dietary zinc depletion on seminal volume and zinc loss, serum testosterone concentrations, and sperm morphology in young men, The American journal of clinical nutrition, 56 (1992) 148-157.

[10] P.H. Wirtz, R. von Kanel, R.E. Meister, A. Arpagaus, S. Treichler, U. Kuebler, S. Huber, U. Ehlert, Dark chocolate intake buffers stress reactivity in humans, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 63 (2014) 2297-2299.

February 27, 2015 by Joseph Fermin 0 Comments

Memory Loss: How Bad is My Problem? 5 (3)

Memory Loss and How
Can Hormones Help?

Memory loss is one of the spectacularly exciting uses of Growth Hormone may be to prevent and treat the effects of brain aging. In an experiment that has momentous implications for brain injury, stroke, aging, and narrow degenerative disease, a team of scientists in New Zealand showed Growth Hormone can stop the death of cells in the brain. Barbara Johnston, Peter Gluckman, and their colleagues at the University of Auckland found that injections of HGH given two hours after brain injury in fetal lambs rescued the damaged neurons. Furthermore, it’s salvaged cells that would otherwise have died during the programmed cell death that is believed to cause the loss of brain cells for up to three days after the original injury.

This is where the terrifying discussion of memory loss surfaces. We are our memories. Losing our memories in effect is similar to losing a piece of ourselves. Your ability to recall information is also a direct reflection of your level of intellect. This means that suffering from memory loss could be catastrophic to an individual whose livelihood is dependent on their ability for quick recollection. Even those of us who don’t have memory or recall demanding jobs are increasingly aware and cautious of the effects on the brain as we age in our attempts to keep memory retention at bay.

Can I Fix It?

By maintaining youthful levels of Growth Hormone as we age, we may stunt the loss of neurons and keep the brain youthful and functional throughout our lifespan. Memory loss is no joking matter. It’s important to take into consideration the fact that every one of us has an aging brain. Growth Hormone (or HGH therapy) may also reverse the decline in cerebral blood flow that is a major cause of brain aging and all the neurodegenerative changes, like loss of memory and thinking power. A 1997 study at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine of wake forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, found that injections of Growth Hormone into rats increased the number of blood cells in the cerebral cortex of the brain. This has major implications for improving the blood flow to the brain and keeping it young for much longer than would otherwise be physiologically expected.

When Should I Start

There is no sense in waiting to begin noticing the effects of an aging brain. Don’t wait to be suffering from memory loss before you decide to do something about memory loss. At AAI Rejuvenation Clinic our interest is to get a full analysis of what you are experiencing internally. Where are your hormones now? Does your blood work hint at possible surfacing ailments or does it suggest that you may be one of the thousands of men and women afflicted by the decline of their cognitive function and ability to recall information in their day-to-day lives? Let us uncover what needs to be uncovered to actually promote the physical and mental betterment that you need and deserve.

Testosterone (Low-T) and Memory Loss

Hopefully, you have been skimming through the many pages of our website to try and educate yourself as much as possible about how to take charge of your life, maximize your potential and really make sure to experience this human existence to the fullest. The only way you will ever be able to do this is if you are feeling your best; able to produce your best, give your best! With that introduction, we set in to discuss one of the most disheartening and concerning issues a person could ever face. Memory loss.

How Bad is My Problem?

Of course, nothing could be said is wrong with occasionally forgetting a name or where you left your keys, but when memory loss starts to affect your day-to-day life, then a hormonal or metabolic abnormality may be the culprit. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, men are at much higher risk of developing age-related cognitive issues that more-often-than-not cause memory loss and cognitive-related issues, making it harder and harder to concentrate as time and the situation progresses. Although conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia usually only affect men 65 and older, as time goes on and the years progress, more and more men are suffering cognitive deficiencies earlier and earlier in their lives – some men as young as 30-years old!

If you’re over the age of 30 and have been suffering from issues such as memory loss, foggy thinking, and difficulty focusing and concentrating, now is the best time to get your hormones tested to immediately evaluate whether or not hormonal inconsistencies may be the culprit. Thousands of men have overcome foggy thinking associated with hormonal imbalance as well as other symptoms related to declining testosterone levels, such as memory loss and cognitive decline, using all-natural, physician-supervised, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy in conjunction with regular exercise and an individualized, balanced nutritional plan. This can be organized for you by one of our in-clinic nutritional specialists.

Why Change?

When we were younger, our testosterone levels made sure to regulate the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which specifically affects the function of neurotransmitters in the brain. As testosterone levels dwindle, the end result is that the hormone cannot effectively regulate cortisol. Because of this, neurotransmitters begin to malfunction, causing these momentary lapses in memory, which can be very concerning and frustrating. Often, men begin to notice memory loss during the early stages of andropause when the production of testosterone begins to naturally decrease.

Memory loss can be debilitating and frustrating, having a negative and direct impact on every aspect of your existence and even on that of the people around you. Loss of memory is not a part of life you must learn to cope and deal with; there are ways of breaking through the fog and getting on the path to living a healthier and more enjoyable life.

**NOTE**  The content contained in this blog is subject to interpretation and is the opinion of the content writer.  We do not claim it to be fact.  We encourage you to consult a medical doctor before taking any prescribed medications or supplements.

At AAI Rejuvenation Clinic, we advise anyone to think seriously about beginning Hormone treatment if there is no medical need for it. However, we will take every precaution to ensure that you read all the positive benefits from your program by providing the latest at-home hormonal mouth-swab testing. This will ensure we are continually monitoring your progress and aware of any negative side effects. Fill out the Medical History Form or call us at (866) 224-5698

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