Cocoa PowderCocoa and the products like cocoa powder, high quality bitter chocolate and cocoa enriched drinks are known for their being among the best and effective natural remedies with plenty of valuable health benefits. Cocoa is considered to be one of the strongest and the most powerful natural antioxidant known, and many experts recommend everyone of us consuming a cup or two of a high quality cocoa a day in order to prevent negative effects of oxidative stress and premature aging, as well as substantially reduce our risks for most of the cancer types, including colon cancer (see more info here). Other health benefits of cocoa are really numerous and vary from lowering blood pressure and reducing our risks for serious cardiovascular diseases, to improving our brain function and preventing memory loss, various dementia like brain disorders, etc.

At the same time, cocoa is still being thoroughly studied, and many scientific group are looking closer at chemical content and the properties of this natural product in order to discover new health benefits or healing actions of this plant. According to the most recent findings of a research group at Penn State University, using a two-three cups of high quality cocoa can not only help us warm up our days and get rid of depression, but also become an effective weapon in our hands when fighting against serious inflammation-related health conditions. As the experiments led by Joshua D. Lambert Ph.D., Reduce Diabetes Risksan Associate Professor of Food Science and Co-Director of the Center for Plant and Mushroom Foods for Health have shown, cocoa powder consumption in the forms of cocoa drink, high quality dark chocolate and so on, can help people suffering from any level of obesity to prevent a variety of common inflammatory diseases and, in particular, reduce diabetes risk in a safe natural way. The findings of American scientists were published earlier this month in the online June issue in the European Journal of Nutrition.

For the experiment, the scientists used a group of lab mice which were fed with a type of diet very high with fat, therefore, they developed a clear symptoms of having extra weight. In order to look closer at the cocoa effects on obese mice, the scientists gave the mice the equivalent to human 10-tablespoons of high quality cocoa powder (meaning consuming about four or five cups of cocoa drink a day) for the time period of 10 weeks. Some other group of the lab mice was fed with a high-fat diet, and the other group was given a low-fat diet. After that, the mice of all groups were analyzed and taken the markers for inflammation and type 2 diabetes. The scientists reported that there were no effects of cocoa consumption on body mass were found out. However, when the scientist started analyzing the markers for inflammation and diabetes, those mice who were given cocoa powder on a regular basis demonstrated significant improvements and managed to reduce diabetes risk, which can not be said about the mice fed with a low-fat or high-fat diet.

In particular, it became apparent that those mice who were fed with cocoa powder had up to 27 per cent lower plasma insulin levels in their blood compared to the levels of those mice who were not consuming coca powder, which is considered the main sign of reduced diabetes risk. Besides, the scientists reported that those mice who were consuming cocoa powder has significantly decreased levels of liver triglycerides, sometimes up to 32 per cent lower comparing to the ones of those mice who did not consume cocoa powder. High levels of liver¬†triglycerides is a warning sign for developing fatty liver disease closely linked to type 2 diabetes and inflammation.¬† “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,” said Professor Lambert.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

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