Healthy chocolate-in-2012


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Healthy chocolate-in-2012

  1. 1. SECTION 1 Index Background & History 4 Notable Mentions of Cacao in History 4 Other Historical References 4 Post-Industrial Chocolate: From Good to Bad 5 Modern Living. Modern Diseases 5 SECTION 2 The Power of Antioxidants 6 Source #1 - Acai Berry 6 Source #2 - Blueberries 7 Source #3 - Unprocessed Dark Chocolate 8 SECTION 3 An Explanation of Cacao’s Ingredients 10 SECTION 4 Our Chocolate Report Purpose - Six Parts 11 The Chocolate Puzzle Part 1 - Flavanol Availability 11 Part 2 - Cacao Positively Affects Health 11 Part 3 - Increases in Antioxidants 11 Part 4 - Recent/Ongoing Dark Cacao Studies Part 5 - Revealing Isoprostane Molecule 12 Part 6 - The Facts Regarding CVD 13 SECTION 5 The Eight Case Studies 14 #1 - Postmenopausal Woman 14 #2 - Kuna Indian Population 14 #3 - Illinois Study on Blood Pressure 14 #4 - United Kingdom Study on Blood Pressure 14 #5 - University of Utah Study on Blood Pressure 14 #6 - Yale Study on Blood Pressure 15 #7 - Swiss Study on Blood Pressure 15 #8 - UC Davis Study - Cacao Offers Protection From Tissue Damage 15 Misled Studies - Quantities & Timing Matters 15 -2- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  2. 2. SECTION 6 Index The Three Research Studies 16 Study #1 - Tufts University & L’Aquilla University 16   Study  #2  -­  Cacao  Benefits  on  Cerebral  Blood  Flow   16   Study  #3  -­  Cacao  Benefits  on  Parkinson’s  Disease  &  Dementia   16 Parkinson’s Disease 17 Dementia 17 SECTION 7 The  Three  Study  Papers  Benefits  With  Inflammation 17 Study #1 - Kare Cooper 17 Study #2 - Italy 2008 17 Study #3 - Baltimore 17 How Does it Work - UC Davis & Italy Studies 18 SECTION 8 Cacao  Benefits  with  Blood  Vessels 18 SECTION 9 Cacao  Benefits  Cholesterol  Levels  (  Good  and  Bad) 18 Study #1 - John Hopkins 18 Study #2 - University of Utah 19 SECTION Cacao  Benefits  Memory,  Aging  &  Immunity 19 Study #1 - Finland 19 Depression 19 Immune System 19 Study #2 - Recent European Studies 19 CONCLUSION 20 CONTRIBUTOR  BIOGRAPHY   21 WORKS  CITED   26 -3- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  3. 3. Background & History Section 1 Notable Mentions of Background & History Cacao in History The cacao tree was scientifically named There is no denying that cocoa has played Thomas Jefferson: “The superiority of chocolate, ‘Theobroma-Cacao’, a major role in the development of both both for health and nourishment, will soon give which literally means, Mesoamerican and European History. Even it the preference over tea and coffee in America “food of the gods”. today, fortunes are won and lost on the which it has in Spain” (1). price  fluctuations  of  this  highly  sought-­after   commodity, as traders bet on the moves of William Clark (famed explorer): “I felt my cocoa futures. Cocoa is produced in mass Self [sic] very unwell and derected [sic] a amounts in only a handful of countries around little Chocolate which Mr. McClellan gave us, the world, many of which are not always prepared of which I drunk about a pint and politically or economically stable. found great relief…” “Chocolate is a perfect Recent discoveries in Honduras showed traces Baron Justus von Liebig (German chemist): food, as wholesome as it is of cocoa on cups and plates dating back to “Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it delicious...” 2000 B.C. Between 200 and 900 A.D., the is  delicious,  a  beneficent  restorer  of  exhausted   - Baron Justus von Liebig Mayan culture celebrated cocoa as a central power. It is the best friend of those engaged in part of their agriculture, economy, medicine and literary pursuits.” religion. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (lawyer, Still used today, the word “cacao” is derived politician): “It has been from ancient Olmec and subsequent Mayan shown as proof positive languages (“kakaw”), while the term “cacahuatl,” that carefully prepared From the ancient, also related to the root origin of cacao, is from chocolate is as healthful detailed records of the ancient Aztec. a food as it is pleasant; Mesoamericans, we have that it is nourishing and discovered over 150 easily digested... that documented medicinal In 1737, Swedish scientist Carolus Linnaeus it is above all helpful to uses for cacao. named the tree that produces these unsightly, people who must do a yet highly prized cocoa bean pods “Theobroma great deal of mental work.” cacao”— literally Other meaning “cocoa, References food of the Deanna Pucciarelli and Louis Grivetti from the gods,” in a University of California, Davis recently published reference to a paper titled, “The Medicinal Use of Chocolate the mythical in Early North America.” This paper discussed history of the the long history of medicinal chocolate in North tree among ancient Mesoamericans. America dating back to the 16th century (2). The paper suggested that medicinal chocolate While cocoa was a celebrated and valued was very prominent in many of the remedies part of ancient Mesoamerican society, ancient prescribed for an assortment of illnesses, records have also revealed more than 150 uses referring to advertisements of the day, including of cocoa for medicinal purposes. the following: “Always on hand pure cocoa and Homeopathic Chocolate, without any admixture of spices, are to be had, by the single cake or by Europeans  were  first  introduced  to  cacao  by   the box of 25 pounds each.” the Spanish conquistadors around 1505 A.D. By the mid-1600’s, European healers were In  1849,  the  Scientific  American  Journal     “prescribing” cacao as a medicine to stimulate published the statement, “During last summer, the health function of the spleen and digestive those individuals who were habitually using tract, as well as a cure for all manner of ailments chocolate or broma, neither had attacks of and diseases. Cacao was valued as a means cholera or dysenteric affections, while other in to heal colds and coughing attacks, enhance the same families, taking their daily potations of mental  acuity,  fight  inflammation,  and  improve   tea, coffee, or simple cold water, were suffers.” overall nutrition. In the rest of this paper, we will refer to cacao as cocoa, implying the Dr. Albert Bellow suggested that “Cocoa unprocessed form of this amazing food. differs from tea and coffee in that it is rich in -4- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  4. 4. Background & History nutritious food, and having in it no tannin or it was also being produced with added fats and other deleterious elements, its theobromine, or sugars as a cheap candy. characteristic property, being connected with The mid- to late-1800s saw the creation of a albumen – a muscle-making element.” tremendous market for chocolate penny candy, The average American as well as for fancy boxed chocolates that consumes 10 to 12 Cocoa products were considered “well- have since become synonymous with love and pounds (4.5 kilograms) known [as] valuable foods, since they [act] as courtship. of chocolate every year. respiratory excitants.” By the 1950s, chocolate had completely lost its Advertisements in the late 1800’s touted cocoa’s association with health and healing. Many of benefits  for  patients  with  asthma,  bronchial,  and   today’s most famous chocolate companies got lung trouble. their start during the Great Depression, known to those in the business as the “hungry thirties” The famous physician due to the popularity of this cheap diversion Dr. Benjamin Rush from the doldrums of everyday life during wrote, “Chocolate the economic crisis. Are we experiencing the differs considerably “hungry 2000s” today? from both [tea and coffee], possessing Modern Living. no exhilarating virtue, Modern Diseases. or only in a small degree, but is more nutritive, and in South America constitutes a Pollution. Global Warming. Stress. Lack of considerable part of sleep. Poor dietary habits. In today’s society, we the food.” are at greater risk than ever for health problems. In the 1800’s, chocolate In fact, the majority of Americans already suffer was recommended for In his treatment for yellow fever, Dr. Rush from some kind of preventable (or addressable) gout, yellow fever and recommended, “As soon as the pulse is health problem: obesity, heart disease, diabetes many other diseases in reduced, I indulge them in weak chocolate.” He (or “pre-diabetes”). that time period. recommended chocolate for gout, yellow fever, and many other diseases at the time. Cocoa was a common medicine included in the well- Nervous System known “house call” medical bags carried about by doctors during the 19th century. One medical book from the time said this about treating whooping cough: Stroke Kidney Disease Let the child live on a light diet, little or no meat, cake, pastry, or heavy food, but an abundance Diabetes of mucilaginous drinks… [such as] chocolate Cocoa was a mainstay in medical Blindness recommendations throughout Europe, North and Amputations South America until the third decade of the 19th century. Heart Diseases A copy of Dr. Pucciarelli and Dr. Grivetti’s paper can be found at the World Cocoa Foundation website ( According to the American Heart Association, more than 910,000 Americans will die of heart Post-Industrial Chocolate: disease this year. As a matter of fact, by From Good to Bad 2010, heart disease will be the number one killer across the world.. More than 70,000,000 Americans live every day with some form With the coming of the Industrial Revolution, of “heart disease” (high blood pressure, chocolate manufacturers found themselves in cardiovascular disease, stroke, angina (chest regional and global competition for consumers. pain), heart attack or congenital heart defect). At the same time that chocolate was being An epidemic of Type 2 diabetes continues served in liquid form as a medicine for the sick, to sweep across the United States; an -5- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  5. 5. Background & History With the health of a nation estimated24,000,000 Americans struggle with in combination could very well change deteriorating, studies are the disease—up more than 3,000,000 people many of the commonly held beliefs about showing that cacao contains since only 2005. With Type 2 diabetes, either nutrition: interesting health benefits that the body does not produce enough “insulin” or could reverse the effects of a the cells “ignore” the insulin. Insulin (a hormone) 1. The Acai Berry fast-paced lifestyle. is needed by the body in order to absorb blood 2. Blueberries sugar into the cells (ultimately lowering blood 3. Unprocessed Cocoa sugar levels) for energy. Lack of exercise The myth that chocolate can be a key contributor to Type 2 diabetes. Most of us have only an improper diet to causes pimples and acne Excessive weight can be both a symptom and blame for our obesity, low energy, mood still lives on amongst many a contributing cause of diabetes. And, naturally, swings and other health problems. Of course, believers. It’s totally false. there is an inevitable wave of illnesses and this can be corrected by changing what we Likewise, chocolate is also not physically addictive the way disabilities that are brought on by diabetes: heart eat, and by consuming more of the foods listed other substances are. Both of disease, stroke, blindness, limb amputations, above. these facts have been proven kidney disease and nervous system damage, to through a series of past name several. medical studies. Antioxidant Source #1 In modern societies, Acai Berry keeping up with a fast- paced lifestyle seems to The acai (ah-sah-EE) berry is an excellent have taken precedence source of vitamin A, which is vital for good over healthy living. One vision, growth, skin health and reproduction. simple solution is to pay 100 grams, or roughly 3.5 ounces, of acai has more attention to what we an ORAC rating of about 5,500 units. ORAC, put in our bodies. Fruits (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is the and vegetables are a rarity unit by which antioxidants are measured. The on fast food menus, yet recommended daily consumption of Antioxidants Notice that the health they are rich sources of antioxidants—a key to is between 4,000 and 5,000 ORAC units. properties of Unprocessed maintaining a healthy body. Dark Chocolate reflect Consuming 5,000 ORAC is the equivalent of and surpass those of the two leading antioxidant- Only in the past few years has cocoa been eating seven to 10 servings of any combination containing fruits. reexamined as a health food and a nutritious of fruits and vegetables. . Acai is far ahead source  of  antioxidants,  anti-­inflammatories,   of the other fruits in its capacity to absorb free vitamins and minerals. In 2008 alone, over 50 radicals in the human different studies were conducted on the health benefits  of  cocoa.  There  have  even  been  human   Dr. Nicholas Perricone, a clinical and research epidemiological studies and dietary trials with dermatologist, named the acai to the top of his cocoa that have yielded interesting results. famous Superfood List. The unusually high levels of phyto-nutrients (nutrients that are Section 2 beneficial  to  your  health)   The power of Antioxidants and antioxidants are what make the acai berry We mentioned antioxidants earlier. Antioxidants stand out from all other are chemicals that combat the free radical fruits. Found primarily in molecules that are created every day inside our the Northern Regions of bodies—molecules that damage our systems. Brazil, the acai is such Three of the most important and effective an important source of sources of antioxidants might surprise you, and nutrition, that individuals products that contain two or three in the region drink almost as much acai juice as they do water. The acai fruit is also a complete AntioxidAnt protein, which means it contains every essential amino acid. FrEE rAdicAl Jiu-­jitsu  fighters  and  soccer  players  in  Brazil   often have a large meal of acai berry pulp before a competition. Why? Aside from being a perfect source of nutrition and carbohydrates, the high levels of antioxidants in the acai berry provide ElEctron significant  support  to  the  adrenal  function,  which   increases stamina. Taken on a regular basis, the AntioxidAnt nEutrAlizing A FrEE rAdicAl acai berry strengthens the immune system to the -6- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  6. 6. The Power of Antioxidants Acai promotes younger point where the body easily handles infections 4 ounces) of white wine contained .47 mmol of looking skin and helps to and disease. This frees up even more energy for free radical absorbing antioxidants. Red wine retain oil in the skin to other uses. provided 2.04 mmol, and a wine made from improve skin elasticity and high-bush blueberries delivered overall complexion. The acai berry contains a natural combination of 2.42 mmol of these protective antioxidants, essential fatty acids, amino acids plant compounds. and phytosterols. Amino acids work together (October 1, 2003). to help your body function better, process food more  easily,  and  burn  fat  more  efficiently.    It  is   literally one of the best things you can put into White Wine your body to keep it healthy. And when your .47 Acai helps people sleep body is healthy and well-balanced, it is much FREE better. Many users of Acai RADICAL easier to reach an ideal body weight. FIGHTERS Red Wine 2.04 report that the berry helps (MMOL) them to even sleep better at The acai berry contains enzymes and other night. High Bush vital nutrients that aid in the digestion process. Blueberry Wine 2.42 A healthy digestive system is not plagued with such  challenges  as  acid  reflux  and  other  similar   ailments.  Acai  also  contains  a  significant  amount   Pterostilbene, (pronounced TARE-oh-STILL- of  fiber,  which  helps  your  digestive  tract  process   bean), a powerful antioxidant compound found food. in  blueberries—already  known  to  fight  cancer— North America is the world’s may also help lower cholesterol. leading blueberry producer, In a study using rat liver cells, scientists at the accounting for nearly 90% Antioxidant Source #2 USDA Agricultural Research Service compared of world production at the Blueberries the cholesterol-lowering effects of pterostilbene present time. to  those  of  ciprofibrate  (a  lipid-­lowering  drug)     Packed with antioxidant phyto-nutrients called and to those of resveratrol. Resveratrol is an anthocyanins, blueberries neutralize free antioxidant found in grapes that has a chemical radical damage done to the collagen matrix of structure similar to pterostilbene, and has been cells and tissues—unchecked, this damage shown  to  help  fight  cancer  and  heart  disease.   can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, The USDA based their comparison on each peptic ulcers, heart compound’s capacity to activate PPAR-alpha disease and cancer. (short for peroxisome Anthocyanins, the receptor alpha). The PPARs are a family of blue-red pigment receptors on cells all throughout the body that found in blueberries, are involved in the absorption of compounds into improve the integrity cells for use in energy production. PPAR-alpha of support structures is crucial for the metabolism of lipids, including in the veins and the cholesterol. Pterostilbene was as effective as entire vascular system. ciprofibrate  and  outperformed  resveratrol  in   Anthocyanins have activating PPAR-alpha (January 14, 2005). The been shown to enhance take-away message: Turn up your cholesterol the effects of vitamin burning machinery by eating more blueberries, C, improve capillary grapes and cranberries. integrity, and stabilize the collagen matrix (the ground substance of all In animal studies, researchers have found body tissues). They work their protective magic that blueberries help protect the brain from by preventing free-radical damage, inhibiting oxidative stress, and may reduce the effects enzymes from clinging to the collagen matrix, of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s and  directly  cross-­linking  with  collagen  fibers  to   disease or dementia. Researchers found that form a stable collagen matrix. diets  rich  in  blueberries  significantly  improve   both the learning ability and motor skills of aging While wine, particularly red wine, is touted as a rats—essentially reversing the cognitive aging cardio-protective substance (a good source of process. antioxidant anthocyanins), a recent study found that blueberries deliver 38% more of In addition to powerful anthocyanins, blueberries these  free  radical  fighters  than  red  wine.    In  this   contain another antioxidant compound called study, published in the August 2003 issue of ellagic acid. Ellagic acid blocks metabolic the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, pathways that can lead to cancer. In a study researchers found that a moderate drink (about of 1,271 elderly people in New Jersey, subjects -7- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  7. 7. The Power of Antioxidants Unprocessed Dark Choco- who ate the most strawberries (another berry The cocoa bean also contains some insoluble late contains fiber, minerals that contains ellagic acid) were three times less and  soluble  fiber,  which  contributed  to  lower   and flavonoids which can likely to develop cancer than those who ate few cholesterol  levels.    Fiber  is  extremely  beneficial   lower cholesterol, improve or no strawberries. In addition to containing in lowering colon cancer rates and preventing metabolism, increase ellagic acid, blueberries are high in the soluble constipation. Fiber also slows intestinal energy and eliminate free fiber  pectin,  which  has  been  shown  to  lower   absorption of glucose, helping to regulate blood radicals in our body. cholesterol and to prevent bile acid from being sugar levels towards normal. transformed into a potentially cancer-causing form. The cocoa bean contains several minerals and vitamins which are useful. Dark chocolate contains magnesium, which is necessary for muscle relaxation, nerve conduction, energy Antioxidant Source #2 production and bone and teeth development and Unprocessed overall  health.    Magnesium  deficiencies  intensify   the effects of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Dark Chocolate Copper—found in rich supply in dark cocoa—is involved in many of the chemical processes in Cocoa rates as one of the Believe it or not, dark chocolate can be one the body. Dark cocoa also contains high levels highest whole foods on the of the healthiest foods you will ever eat. The of potassium, which is vital for ORAC scale - even higher key is that it must be processed correctly to be cardiovascular health. than most antioxidants. beneficial. The  flavonoids  in  cocoa  are  the   Cocoa powder is rich in the polyphenols, mainly flavan-­3-­ols,  flavonols  (catechin  and  epicatechin;;   flavonoids—flavan-­3-­ols,  flavonols  (epicatechin   procyanides), and proanthocyanidins. Pound- and catechin), and procyanidins. Cocoa is from for-pound, dark chocolate has the highest the plant Theobroma cacao. concentration  of  these  flavonoids  of  any  food— even more than acai or blueberries. Cocoa is Cocoa butter accounts for 50% of the weight of loaded with a variety of phyto-nutrients, making the cocoa bean, with the main fatty acids being it very high in antioxidants. stearic and palmitic (saturated fats), oleic (the one in olive oil, a monounsaturated fatty acid) Cocoa rates as one of the highest whole foods and linoleic acid (polyunsaturated). on the ORAC scale—even higher than green tea, acai, blueberry and red wine, which have all Even though we are taught that saturated fats been shown to be very effective are harmful to the cardiovascular system, the saturated stearic acid fat from the cocoa bean Cocoa can stop the oxidation of the LDL-C does not elevate blood cholesterol like other cholesterol as discussed previously, resulting Several studies saturated fatty acids. Fat from cocoa butter is in reduced cardiovascular damage. Cocoa have shown that not absorbed well by the intestinal tract, and flavonoids  can  also  increase  the  production   dark chocolate decreases is considered “neutral” in terms of its effect of good cholesterol (HDL), which mops up the blood pressure. on weight gain and impact on cholesterol. harmful fats from the blood vessels. Cocoa Research shows that these cacao fatty acids flavonoids  discourage  platelets  from  forming   may modify LDL-C, making it more resistant to harmful clots and damaging heart muscle oxidation. blood  vessels.    The  flavonoids  in  cocoa  help   the blood vessels dilate more easily, allowing MAGN more  blood  flow  to  the  heart  (nitric  oxide  (NO)   ESI UM activation). This same principle is applicable to insulin-stimulated blood sugar uptake, resulting in improved diabetic control. Cocoa has been found  to  have  anti-­inflammatory  properties,   COPPER stopping  the  inflammatory  process  (cytokines)   from damaging the body. In several studies, dark chocolate has been shown to decrease blood pressure, which in turn S SIUM decreases the damage to heart vessels. Cocoa P O TA is thought to be a renin-angiotension enzyme inhibitor, which is the same principle on which many blood pressure pills work (ACE inhibitors). -8- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  8. 8. The Power of Antioxidants Believe it or not, healthy There have also been studies showing that dark Dark chocolate improves the body’s ability to chocolate can reduce dental cocoa can help reduce dental cavities, decrease use insulin, and improves insulin resistance, a cavities, decrease plaque the plaque on teeth, and prevent gum disease. condition that can lead to diabetes. Cocoa can and prevent gum disease. increase nitric oxide levels to help with insulin- Research in dementia has shown that the stimulated uptake of blood sugars. The increase progression of the condition can be combated in nitric oxide also improves the health of the by the same antioxidant principles we have blood vessels, limiting the damage of diabetes been discussing. Several vitamins, particularly on the small vessels. vitamin E and certain B-vitamins, have been used to help with dementia. As noted previously, Cocoa has been found to help with liver cocoa has the same capacity to decrease free- damage, and can help repair liver cells after long Red wine and dark radical damage, limiting dementia and improving term exposure to alcohol. chocolate... might seem memory. decadent...but these guilty pleasures also might help us live longer...and healthier lives. Red wine and dark chocolate contain resveratrol which lowers blood sugar. A study led by Professor Ian Macdonald found that con- sumption of a cocoa drink rich in flavanols — a key ingredient of dark chocolate — boosts blood flow to key areas of the brain for two to three -9- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  9. 9. An Explanation of Cacao’s Ingredients Cacao isn’t candy. It Section 3 tryptophan, and serotonin). This is just an becomes a candy only when abbreviated list of the chemicals found in cocoa. fats and sugars are added, An Explanation of In addition to the main chemicals which provide and unfortunately the ‘candy Cacao’s Ingredients a  majority  of  the  health  benefits,  cocoa  also   chocolate’ is the only form contains polyphenols. Polyphenols are a large of chocolate many people What exactly is in cocoa that provides so many class of compounds that provide the antioxidant know of. benefits?    To  hear  one  tout  its  benefits,  cocoa   and  anti-­inflammatory  benefits  of  fruits  and   almost sounds like “snake oil” sold in traveling vegetables. One of the most important classes Cocoa is comprised of more caravans. The truth is that cocoa is a complex of  polyphenols  are  flavonoids.    Flavonoids  can   than 300 different chemical food. There are over 300 different chemical be further broken down into smaller families components - the combination of which makes cocoa components found in cocoa. The cocoa bean is –flavanones,  flavones,  flavonols,  flavanols   incredibly versatile when it the fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree, and the (flavan-­3-­ols),  anthocyanins  and  isoflavones.     comes to good health. beneficial  effects  are  wholly  determined  by  how   it is grown, handled, and processed. Within  the  flavanol  family  exist  powerful   stand-alone (“monomeric”) chemicals known as epicatechins and catechins, as well as compound chemicals (“oligomeric”) known as FlAvAnol procyanidins. These substances are the true backbone of the health properties derived from cocoa. Epicatechin is the predominant polyphenol in cocoa, and accounts for a majority of the health benefits  that  scientists  attribute  to  this  wonderful   food. Cocoa is one of the most polyphenol-rich foods available on Mother Earth. However, the processing and manufacturing of the cocoa bean has an enormous impact on the levels of In general, cocoa contains Cocoa butter these substances that are actually contained in (a neutral fat consisting of oleic, stearic, the  final  product.   and palmitic fatty acids), minerals (copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and calcium), theobromine and trace amounts of caffeine, and mood-enhancing chemicals (PEA, tyramine, Polyphenols provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Cacao is one of the most polyphenol-rich foods available on Earth! -10- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  10. 10. Our Chocolate Report Purpose (The Six Parts) When processed improperly, Why is the preservation (or even enhancement) Cocao powder can lose Section 4 of cocoa polyphenols of such great importance? more than 60% of the total Our Chocolate Report The answer is two-fold: the obvious biological flavonoid capacity along with Purpose (the 6 parts) the beneficial properties. activity of polyphenols, combined with the limited absorption of polyphenols in the gut. This means In  this  report,  I  will  examine  the  influence  of   the  more  potent  the  cocoa,  the  more  beneficial   manufacturing  on  the  availability  of  the  flavanols,   to the consumer. Epicatechin demonstrates the as well as present the most recent research highest absorption in the blood, which is why it conducted in 2008 on cocoa, and cocoa’s effects is important to maximize the amount available in on health. I will also relate the University of Utah the product. results on Xocai™ products with other pertinent studies. Conclusion: Research is continuing to uncover  new  findings  support  the  many   The valuable compounds dynamic  health  benefits  of  cocoa. found in cocoa can continue to work in your body for up Part #1 of the to 12 hours! Chocolate Puzzle Part #3 of the flavanol availability Chocolate Puzzle A 2008 study completed by increases in researchers in Spain examined the impact of antioxidants manufacturing processes on cocoa powder. Several international studies have The researchers found that “dutching” (or examined  the  absorption  of  flavanols  into  the   alkalinization) of cocoa powder resulted in bloodstream (“bioavailability”). These studies More health benefits from a  60%  loss  of  total  flavonoid  capacity.  While   found that the gastric environment has little- eating properly processed dutching might make cocoa more palatable by to-no effect on polyphenols. Epicatechins and cocoa are consistently removing the natural bitterness, it also robs catechins are readily absorbed by the upper being found with new cocoa  of  most  of  the  beneficial  properties   intestinal gut into the bloodstream. Epicatechin reseach and testing. associated  with  flavonoids.   metabolites (glucuronide, sulfate, and methyl) are found in blood plasma very soon after Even the process of fermenting cocoa beans being after hitting the intestinal gut. The larger contributes  to  the  loss  of  potent  flavonoids. molecules  of  flavanols  not  absorbed  in  the   This study also showed a 67% loss of the small intestine travel to, and are metabolized (-)-epicatechin, which is the main powerhouse by, bacteria in the large intestine, flavonoid  in  cocoa. other  beneficial  polyphenols.  These  valuable   compounds can be found even up to six or Need more convincing? The researchers also 12 hours after the cocoa product has been discovered that dutching contributes to an 86% ingested. loss  of  the  other  important  flavonol  in  cocoa— quercetin. Quercetin is a very potent antioxidant These studies also discovered epicatechin and free-radical scavenger that was not even metabolites and quercetin in the brain reported to be found in cocoa before. Pound-for- bloodstream soon after the ingestion of cocoa. pound, unprocessed cocoa contains as much quercetin as broccoli, apples, or red grapes. Conclusion:    Cocoa’s  workhorse  molecules   are  absorbed  effectively  in  the  body. Conclusion:    How  cocoa  is  manufactured   has  a  significant  effect  on  the  health  benefits   Part #4 of the contained  in  the  final  product. Chocolate Puzzle recent/ongoing Part #2 of the dark cacao studies Chocolate Puzzle cacao positively Another important factor to consider is whether an increase of polyphenols increase antioxidant affects health levels  in  the  blood.  Studies  have  found  definite   As recently as August 2008, a study reported the increases in blood ORAC levels associated discovery of dietary resveratrol in cocoa powder with cocoa consumption, indicating that the (about half as much as an average California flavonoids  are  being  utilized  by  the  body.  The   red wine), further bolstering the argument of ORAC (oxygen-radical absorbance capacity) cocoa  as  a  beneficial  food.   test measures the capacity of a compound to absorb or neutralize oxygen-free radicals, which -11- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  11. 11. Our Chocolate Report Purpose (The Six Parts) Tests have shown that are harmful to the body. An increased presence higher  quantities  of  flavanols  than  the  highly   eating chocolate before of antioxidants gives the body another weapon processed chocolate we see in the candy aisle solving math problems can to  fight  damaging  molecules  that  are  created   of the grocery store. Flavanols, as previously increase your test scores. inside the body every day. discussed, are part of a group of chemicals called polyphenols. They increase the level of An increase of total serum cerebral  blood  flow,  among  many  other  health   glutathione, also shown benefits.     in these studies, indicates that  the  flavonol  molecules   After consuming the cocoa drink, the volunteers are actually doing their in this study were asked to count backwards jobs inside the living body. in groups of three, beginning with a random Glutathione (a protein found number between 800 and 999 (generated by inside cells) is essential computer). The study showed that the subjects’ for the function of immune mathematical performance was clearly affected cells  and  disease-­fighting.   by the drink, and suggests that students who Another interesting and binge on chocolate while studying for exams informative test determines may  actually  benefit  from  doing  so—at  least  in   whether the metabolites, terms of mental acuity. Subjects accomplished or breakdown products, of the calculations more quickly and more the  flavonoids  are  found   accurately than the control group. in the urine. Presence The  findings  were  presented  at  the  British   of metabolites in urine Psychological Society annual conference at indicates that the molecules Brighton, and also showed that subjects were are being used by the body. inclined to feel less tired and less mentally drained after answering the questions. Eating dark chocolate can promote a healthy immune Conclusion:    Research  proves  that   In the interest of full disclosure, the study also system and increase your flavonoids  from  ingested  cocoa  are  being   found that the same test subjects did struggle ability to focus. utilized  by  the  body,  and  positively  affect  the   with more complex mathematical tasks. body’s  immune  system. Professor Kennedy stated, “The amount [of Now, let’s take a look at the newest international flavanols  given  in  the  study]  is  more  than  in  the   studies on cocoa while comparing and [normal] diet, but there is quite a lot of evidence contrasting  these  interesting  findings  with  the   that general amounts are protective results obtained from a cardiovascular study declining function. The more [foods you eat that performed at the University of Utah. are] high in polyphenols, the better it is for your brain in the long run.” Professor David Kennedy is the director of Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Conclusion:    High  levels  of  flavanols  found   Center at Northumbria University in England. in  chocolate  can  improve  mental  acuity  when   The cacao tree He recently led a group of researchers in taken  in  the  proper  amounts. produces pods all year long, so a exploring the effects of cocoa on the human typical tree would brain ability to perform mathematical equations. have pods in every Professor Kennedy, co-author of the study, stage of ripeness. concluded from the study that consuming Part #5 of the Because of this, chocolate  could  benefit  people  when  performing   Chocolate Puzzle most harvesting is mentally challenging tasks. The Revealing done by hand, with machetes. Isoprostane “For  things  that  are  difficult  to  do,  mentally   demanding things that maybe crop up in your molecule work, [consuming cocoa] could help,” Professor One of the easiest molecules to check in urine Kennedy said. is isoprostane—a molecule that damages the body. If antioxidants are absorbed and The  researchers  gave  a  flavanol-­rich  hot   functioning correctly, there should be a reduced cocoa drink to 30 individuals, and then had level of isoprostane found in urine. High levels of them answer various mathematical questions. isoprostane are associated with increased risk The cocoa used in the study contained 500 for dementia. milligrams  of  flavanols—more  than  would   normally be found in fruits and vegetables. The study performed in 2008 by the University Dark chocolate, as one of the three major of  Utah  showed  statistically  significant  increases   sources  of  flavanols  discussed  above,  contains   of ORAC levels in blood plasma, increases of -12- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  12. 12. Our Chocolate Report Purpose (The Six Parts) The cacao tree is a tropical glutathione levels in plasma, and decreases in Here are some of the latest CVD statistics: plant that grows only within isoprostane levels found in urine. University of 20 degrees latitude of the Utah researchers found these results using both -Cardiovascular disease (CVD), principally equator. The main cacao- a standard dose of Xocai Active™ (one ounce, heart disease and stroke, is the Nation’s producing countries are the three times per day), as well as an increased leading killer for both men and women Ivory Coast and Ghana, dose (three ounces, three times per day). These among all racial and ethnic groups. although there are numerous findings  confirmed  other  reports  of  increased   smaller markets in South serum ORAC levels, increased glutathione -Almost 1 million Americans die of CVD each America and Africa. levels, and decreased isoprostane levels found year, constituting 42% of all deaths. in other “in-vivo” tests (tests performed in the human body) with dark cocoa powder. -Heart disease is the leading cause of death for ALL Americans aged 35 and older. Anti-oxidants found in Conclusion:    Cocoa,  specifically  Xocai   cocoa can lower the levels Activ™,  contributes  to  decreased   -One out of every four Americans has some of isoprostane in your isoprostane  levels  in  the  body,  proving  the   form of CVD; that works out to about urine, a molecule that damages your body. absorption  of  cocoa  antioxidants. 57 million people in the United States. -Heart disease and stroke account for almost 6 million hospitalizations each year and Part #6 of the cause disability in almost 10 million Chocolate Puzzle Americans aged 65 years and older. the facts regarding cvd -CVD costs America $274 billion each year when including health expenditures and It’s no secret that cardiovascular diseases lost productivity. Cocao can actually work (“CVD”) are the leading cause of death in the with your body’s natural United States and many other countries around -A number of health-related behaviors defenses against illness. the world. Some projections have cardiovascular   contribute  significantly  to  cardiovascular   disease becoming the number one cause of disease (e.g. tobacco use, lack of physical death everywhere in the world by 2010. exercise, poor nutrition). It’s also no secret that dietary changes and Sources: intake  of  flavonol-­containing  foods  have  been   National Center for Health Statistics, associated with improvements in cardiovascular National Center for Chronic diseases.  The  flavonoids  and  other  compounds   Prevention and Health Promotion, of cocoa have been clearly shown to reduce Center for Disease Control and Prevention. the risk of cardiovascular disease in humans. Many such studies have shown an improved endothelial (blood vessel) function, platelet function, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and decreases  in  chemicals  causing  inflammation  in   the body. Conclusion:    Conclusion:    Flavonols  and   other  compounds  of  cocoa  improve  the   body’s  natural  ability  to  fight  CVD. -13- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  13. 13. The Eight Case Studies Cacao contains the highest concentration of Section 5 Case Study #4 antioxidants of any food in The 8 Case Studies united kingdom study on the world, along with a full spectrum of nutrients found blood pressure naturally in different fruits and vegetables. Case Study #1 A group of researchers from the United Kingdom reported in the American Journal of Clinical postmenapausal women Nutrition regarding a meta-analysis of numerous A study performed last year examined studies  completed  on  cocoa  flavanols  and  blood   postmenopausal  women,  the  total  flavonoids   pressure. consumed by that population, and their cardiovascular mortality. The study found that These researchers found forty-three different only a limited number of foods improved their studies regarding the effect of chronic intake of condition: apples, pears, strawberries…and flavonoids  on  blood  pressure,  and  seven  studies   chocolate. There was no measurable reduction regarding the effect of acute intake. Black tea, Cocoa can increase in cardiovascular mortality with any other fruits red wine and grape juice demonstrated no dilation of your or vegetables. significant  effects  on  blood  pressure.  Cocoa,   blood vessels, however, presented a 5.88mm reduction in promoting good Conclusion:    Unprocessed  cocoa  can   systolic blood pressure, and a 3.33mm reduction heart health and improve  cardiovascular  mortality  rates. in diastolic blood pressure—statistically reducing the effects significant  findings.   of hypertension. Case Study #2 Conclusion: Cocoa appears to kuna indian population be  more  effective   In past reports, I discussed two large studies than  black  tea,   that  showed  the  benefits  of  cocoa  in  reducing   wine and grape cardiovascular mortality—a major study in juices in helping the Netherlands on elderly men and a study reduce  high  blood   conducted on the Kuna Indian population of the pressure. San Blas Islands in Panama. These studies involved long- term observations that indicated Cocoa studies improved  cardiovascular  benefit   conducted of cocoa consumption. year found that cocoa increases vasorelaxation (dilates the blood vessel walls) in healthy Conclusion: Ongoing subjects. Effects were also positive for patients consumption  of  cocoa   with hypertension, coronary heart disease, promotes  cardiovascular   the elderly, post-transplant heart patients, and health. patients with high cardiovascular risk. Conclusion:    Consuming  cocoa  can  dilate   blood  vessels,  allowing  better  blood  flow   Case Study #3 throughout  the  body. the illinois study on blood pressure Case Study #5 A study conducted this year by the University of university of utah Dark chocolate (65 Illinois  found  that  the  consumption  of  flavonol-­ percent or higher study on blood pressure enriched  cocoa  bars  resulted  in  significant   cocoa content) has reduction in systolic blood pressure (8.2% far more antioxidants decrease) and diastolic blood pressure (8.2% The University of Utah study found that basically than milk or white chocolate. decrease) compared to a placebo group. The healthy patients experienced a decrease improvement occurred within a four-week period, in systolic and diastolic blood pressure by and continued throughout the entire study. 5mm within two weeks of a program eating These  findings  were  very  interesting,  especially   unprocessed cocoa (a product produced under considering the fact that study participants had the  Xocai™  brand).  These  findings  corroborated   no pre-existing hypertension. other studies, and delivered the same success you  would  find  with  weight  loss,  dieting,  and   Conclusion: Eating cocoa daily can lower even some blood pressure medications. blood  pressure. -14- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©
  14. 14. The Eight Case Studies It is widely accepted among medical professionals that even a small drop in blood Case Study #8 pressure translates to a marked reduction in UC Davis Study - heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular Cacao offers protection diseases. from TIssue Damage Chocolate also contains Conclusion:    Consuming  unprocessed  cocoa   high amounts amino acids can  lower  blood  pressure  and  contribute  to   from which the body builds weight  loss. This year, a group of researchers from the protein and also dopamine University of California, Davis found that (which scientists believe Case Study #6 flavonoids  can  protect  myocardial  (heart)  tissues   stimulates the brain’s yale study on blood pressure during damaging events. They found that pleasure receptors) and epicatechins confer cardioprotection to the heart adrenaline. muscle during short- and long-term ischemia This year, a group of researchers from Yale reperfusion myocardial injury. In lay terms, the found that acute ingestion of both solid dark epicatechins protected the heart muscles after a chocolate and liquid cocoa improved the blood heart  attack  caused  decreased  blood  flow  to  the   vessel function and lowered blood pressure in heart. overweight adults. Sugar-free or low glycemic products aided in further improvements in blood Conclusion: The epicatechins in cocoa pressure. can  protect  the  heart  muscles  after  a  heart   attacks.     Research has uncovered the fact that the Dozens of clinical studies dilation of blood vessels is achieved via an Misled Studies have been conducted NO-dependent (nitric oxide) mechanism. A Quantity & Timing Matters to evaluate the health decrease in NO is associated with increases benefits of dark chocolate in arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular risk. — and the results are After  consuming  a  flavanol-­rich  beverage,   Within the last year, two other studies found overwhelmingly positive. test subjects experienced an increase in NO, minimum results using dark cocoa. However, a These include benefits for generated by NO synthase. Cocoa stimulates review  of  the  studies  found  that  the  first  used   your cardiovascular system, this mechanism to create even higher levels of only  approximately  300mg  of  total  flavonoids  per   prevention of osteoporosis, NO in test subjects. day, which is far below the therapeutic amount and cancer prevention. of  600mg  to  900mg  to  total  flavonoids.  The   Conclusion:    Conclusion:    Stimulation   second  study  used  900mg  of  total  flavonoids, of  nitric  oxide  levels  in  the  body  helps   but only administered twice per day, which the counteract  high  blood  pressure.    (Cocoa  is   researchers themselves thought may have also one of the richest natural sources of contributed to decreased results. magnesium,  which  is  known  to  relax  arteries   Cocoa molecules are short-lived in the blood and  help  prevent  or  decrease  high  blood   stream; at least three times per day appears to pressure.) be the necessary frequency to enjoy continued results. Case Study #7 A second range of studies examined the swiss study on blood pressure conditions of insulin resistance related to impaired glucose tolerance, or “prediabetes,” We also see some notable evidence that cocoa which increases the risk of cardiovascular Good News! Most also acts like an angiotensin converting enzyme events, diabetes, decreased endothelial NO major chocolate (ACE) inhibitor, further lowering blood pressure. (level of nitric oxide in the blood vessels) manufacturers are bioavailability, and increased oxidative stress. looking for ways to Researchers in Switzerland found that within keep the flavanols two  hours  of  consumption  of  flavanol-­enriched   in their processed cocoa,  subjects  experienced  a  significant   chocolates. reduction of serum oxidative stress, improved coronary vessel function, and decreased platelet adhesion. Researchers also noted an increase in serum epicatechin levels at the same time. Conclusion:    Yet  another  way  cocoa  lowers   blood  pressure  is  by  decreasing  oxidative   stress. -15- Copyright© 2009-2012© ~©