Cocoa has a long list of potential benefits, some of which are covered in my Bomb Proof Coffee write up and other pages on this site. One study suggests cocoa helps fight the influenza virus by activating key aspects of the immune system and has a broad-spectrum antimicrobial and anti viral activity, and in this study, “…inhibitory effect on influenza virus infection.” The effect was found in both human and animal models apparently. Not that I needed yet another reason to drink my morning mug of Bomb Proof Coffee, that it may also help prevent likelihood of viral infections is a real plus in my book!

Anti-influenza virus effects of cocoa.
J Sci Food Agric. 2016 Mar 15;96(4):1150-8.
Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Cocoa contains biologically active ingredients that have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, which includes an inhibitory effect on influenza virus infection.

RESULTS:
A cocoa extract (CE) was prepared by treating defatted cocoa powder with boiling water. The extract demonstrated dose-dependent inhibition of infection in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells infected with human influenza virus A (H1N1, H3N2), human influenza virus B and avian influenza viruses (H5N1, H5N9). CE inhibited viral adsorption to MDCK cells. Animal experiments showed that CE significantly improved survival in mice after intra-nasal administration of a lethal dose of influenza virus. In human intervention trials, participants were allocated to two groups, one in which the participants ingested cocoa for 3 weeks before and after vaccination against A(H1N1)pdm2009 influenza virus and another in which the participants did not ingest cocoa. Neutralizing antibody titers against A(H1N1)pdm2009 influenza virus increased significantly in both groups; however, the extent of the increase was not significantly different between the two groups. Although natural killer cell activity was also elevated in both groups, the increase was more substantial in the cocoa intake group.

CONCLUSION:
Drinking cocoa activates natural immunity and enhances vaccination-induced immune response, providing stronger protection against influenza virus infection and disease onset.

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