Chocolate and Inflammation

Chocolate and Inflammation

The vast majority of scientists familiar with the research on cacao, cocoa and chocolate agree that one of cocoa’s primary benefits is its ability to prevent or even reverse inflammatory response in the body. Though inflammation is generally a helpful and necessary process, continual exposure to inflammation is now thought to be a core contributor to a variety of diseases.

One of the major concerns of inflammation is cardiovascular disease. Mounting research shows that chronic, low-grade inflammation (which can be the result of numerous factors) is a primary contributor to artherosclerosis, stroke and other forms of cardiovascular disease. In a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers discovered that epicatechin and other flavanols found in cocoa proved to be effective at inhibiting the action of leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are inflammatory messengers that can be helpful in normal levels, but are also known to be a key contributor to inflammation-related conditions when produced in excess. The researchers also found that the availability of nitric oxide was enhanced by consumption of flavanols. Flavonoids are inhibitors of cyclooxygenase (COX-1), which contributes to inflammation.

A 2012 study from scientists in Spain found that a cocoa-based product was able to reduce inflammatory and other markers for cardiovascular problems. The researchers stated that “The [cocoa-based product] has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in addition to lowering LDL cholesterol [and other markers].”

The Xocai Healthy Chocolate Head Quarters
Mike Garcia
Redondo Beach, California 90278
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310-420-8507

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