Cacaovation Research

Cacaovation: Cacao, Lecithin, Maca, Mucuna, Guarana, Lions Mane, B6, Piperine,

The neuroprotective effects of theobromine found in Cacao have been explored as well its ability to normalize synaptic plasticity and antagonize adenosine receptors which may explain the lowered risk of cognitive decline associated with Cacao consumption.1 Lipid oxidation has long been associated with neurodegenerative diseases.2 Antioxidant flavanols found in Cacao are associated with cognitive benefits,3 are shown to decrease lipid oxidation and have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health.4 Alzheimer’s disease preventive measures may include Methylxanthines found in Cacao which can be enhanced with a lipid-altering diet.5,6 Sunflower lecithin is also shown to have protective effects on the lipid system.7 Sunflower lecithin’s hepatoprotective and anti-diabetic effects have been observed as well as lowered risk for cardiovascular disease.8 Sunflower lecithin contains phosphatidylcholine.9 Phosphatidylcholine; a source of choline; necessary for production of acetylcholine, vital for brain function and development.10 The chemical composition of Maca has been reviewed and the constituents of maca possess neuroprotective, anticancer, heptoprotective, antifatigue, antioxidant, and reproductive health promoting properties.11-13 Its anti-oxidant properties as well as its ability to activate dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems in mice has been explored.14 As an Ayurvedic medicine Mucuna has been used as an aphrodisiac and to treat Parkinson’s disease.15 It contains neuroprotective properties as well as L-Dopa which is necessary for Dopamine production.16 It also has high amounts of essential amino acids and increases male fertility.17-19 Antidepressant, anxiolytic effects have been observed as well as a decrease in neuroinflammation.20 Guarana contains high amounts of methylxanthines such as caffeine and theobromine giving it stimulating effects. Anti-cancer, anti-obesity, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects have also been observed.21,22 Through neuroplasticity and the stimulation of hippocampal neurogenesis, Lion’s Mane could have potential to treat depression within the neurogenic hypothesis of depression.23 It also possesses antioxidative, immunostimulating, and anti-inflammatory properties.24 Along with its role in tryptophan metabolism, B6 deficiency is associated with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.25 Piperine’s neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties are well documented.26

1. Valada P, Alçada-Morais S, Cunha RA, Lopes JP. Thebromine Targets Adenosine Receptors to Control Hippocampal Neuronal Function and Damage. Int J Mol Sci. Sep 10 2022;23(18)doi:10.3390/ijms231810510

2. Reed TT. Lipid peroxidation and neurodegenerative disease. Free Radic Biol Med. Oct 1 2011;51(7):1302-19. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.06.027

3. Lamport D, Pal D, Moutsiana C, et al. The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on cerebral perfusion in healthy older adults during conscious resting state: a placebo controlled, crossover, acute trial. Article. Psychopharmacology. 2015;232(17):3227-3234. doi:10.1007/s00213-015-3972-4

4. Garcia JP, Santana A, Baruqui DL, Suraci N. The Cardiovascular effects of chocolate. Rev Cardiovasc Med. Dec 30 2018;19(4):123-127. doi:10.31083/j.rcm.2018.04.3187

5. Janitschke D, Lauer AA, Bachmann CM, et al. Methylxanthines Induce a Change in the AD/Neurodegeneration-Linked Lipid Profile in Neuroblastoma Cells. Int J Mol Sci. Feb 18 2022;23(4)doi:10.3390/ijms23042295

6. Oñatibia-Astibia A, Franco R, Martínez-Pinilla E. Health benefits of methylxanthines in neurodegenerative diseases. Mol Nutr Food Res. Jun 2017;61(6)doi:10.1002/mnfr.201600670

7. Mansouri H, Farhoosh R, Rezaie M. Interfacial performance of gallic acid and methyl gallate accompanied by lecithin in inhibiting bulk phase oil peroxidation. Food Chem. Oct 30 2020;328:127128. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.127128

8. Butina EA, Gerasimenko EO, Bugaets IA, Dubrovskaia IA. Comparative analysis of the physiological value of lecithins obtained from different types of raw materials. Article. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. 2017;9(12):2493-2497.

9. Lončarević I, Pajin B, Petrović J, et al. The impact of sunflower and rapeseed lecithin on the rheological properties of spreadable cocoa cream. Journal of Food Engineering. 2016/02/01/ 2016;171:67-77. doi:

10. Böckmann KA, Franz AR, Minarski M, et al. Differential metabolism of choline supplements in adult volunteers. Eur J Nutr. Feb 2022;61(1):219-230. doi:10.1007/s00394-021-02637-6

11. Wang S, Zhu F. Chemical composition and health effects of maca (Lepidium meyenii). Food Chem. Aug 1 2019;288:422-443. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.02.071

12. Alasmari M, Bӧhlke M, Kelley C, Maher T, Pino-Figueroa A. Inhibition of Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) by Macamides. Mol Neurobiol. Mar 2019;56(3):1770-1781. doi:10.1007/s12035-018-1115-8

13. Huang YJ, Peng XR, Qiu MH. Progress on the Chemical Constituents Derived from Glucosinolates in Maca (Lepidium meyenii). Nat Prod Bioprospect. Dec 2018;8(6):405-412. doi:10.1007/s13659-018-0185-7

14. Ai Z, Cheng AF, Yu YT, Yu LJ, Jin W. Antidepressant-like behavioral, anatomical, and biochemical effects of petroleum ether extract from maca (Lepidium meyenii) in mice exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress. J Med Food. May 2014;17(5):535-42. doi:10.1089/jmf.2013.2950

15. Lampariello L, Cortelazzo A, Guerranti R, Sticozzi C, Valacchi G. The magic velvet bean of mucuna pruriens. Article. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 2012;2(4):331-339. doi:10.1016/S2225-4110(16)30119-5

16. Natarajan K, Narayanan N, Ravichandran N. Review on "Mucuna" - The wonder plant. Review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research. 2012;17(1):86-93.

17. Yadav MK, Upadhyay P, Purohit S, Pandey BL, Shah H. Phytochemistry and pharmacological activity of Mucuna pruriens: A review. Review. International Journal of Green Pharmacy. 2017;11(2):69-73.

18. Adebowale YA, Adeyemi A, Oshodi AA. Variability in the physicochemical, nutritional and antinutritional attributes of six Mucuna species. Article. Food Chemistry. 2005;89(1):37-48. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2004.01.084

19. Shukla KK, Mahdi AA, Ahmad MK, Shankhwar SN, Rajender S, Jaiswar SP. Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. Fertil Steril. Dec 2009;92(6):1934-40. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.09.045

20. Tavares RL, Vasconcelos MHA, Dutra M, et al. Mucuna pruriens Administration Minimizes Neuroinflammation and Shows Anxiolytic, Antidepressant and Slimming Effects in Obese Rats. Molecules. Nov 26 2020;25(23)doi:10.3390/molecules25235559

21. Torres E, Pinaffi-Langley A, Figueira MS, et al. Effects of the consumption of guarana on human health: A narrative review. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. Jan 2022;21(1):272-295. doi:10.1111/1541-4337.12862

22. Marques LL, Panizzon GP, Aguiar BA, et al. Guaraná (Paullinia cupana) seeds: Selective supercritical extraction of phenolic compounds. Food Chem. Dec 1 2016;212:703-11. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.06.028

23. Chong PS, Fung ML, Wong KH, Lim LW. Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder. Int J Mol Sci. Dec 25 2019;21(1)doi:10.3390/ijms21010163

24. Friedman M. Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health-Promoting Properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion's Mane) Mushroom Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia and Their Bioactive Compounds. J Agric Food Chem. Aug 19 2015;63(32):7108-23. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02914

25. Sakakeeny L, Roubenoff R, Obin M, et al. Plasma pyridoxal-5-phosphate is inversely associated with systemic markers of inflammation in a population of U.S. adults. J Nutr. Jul 2012;142(7):1280-5. doi:10.3945/jn.111.153056

26. Haq I-U, Imran M, Nadeem M, Tufail T, Gondal TA, Mubarak MS. Piperine: A review of its biological effects. Phytotherapy Research. 2021;35(2):680-700. doi:

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