Updated on 14 June 2013
Consumption of cocoa reduces plasma insulin levels by 27 percent and liver triglycerides levels by 32 percent in mice
Singapore: Researchers at the Penn State University, US, have found that a few cups of hot cocoa can help the obese better control inflammation linked diseases such as diabetes. The study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition.
The study found that mice that were fed cocoa along with a high-fat diet had noticeably less obesity-linked inflammation as compared to mice that had the same high-fat diet without the supplement. During the 10-week experiment, the mice were given cocoa powder equivalent to human consumption, which is 10 tablespoons and makes up to four-to-five cups of hot cocoa.
The mice that were fed cocoa supplement also had a 27 percent less plasma insulin levels and had 32 percent lower levels of liver triglycerides. Prior to this, several studies have shown a strong correlation between obesity-linked chronic inflammation to type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease. But the reason for inflammation response remains a mystery.
Dr Joshua Lambert, associate professor of food science, Penn State University, US, "What surprised me was the magnitude of the effect. There wasn't as big of an effect on the body weight as we expected, but I was surprised at the dramatic reduction of inflammation and fatty liver disease. Most obesity researchers tend to steer clear of chocolate because it is high in fat, high in sugar and is usually considered an indulgence,"
Dr Lambert further said, "However, cocoa powder is low in fat and low in sugar. We looked at cocoa because it contains a lot of polyphenolic compounds, so it is analogous to things like green tea and wine, which researchers have been studying for some of their health benefits."