Posted on May 01, 2014, 6 a.m.
Oligomeric procyanidins found in cocoa have been shown to prevent weight gain and improve glucose tolerance.
Cocoa has been linked to numerous health benefits over the last few years, and now researchers have identified compounds that may help to prevent both weight gain and diabetes. Andrew P Neilson and colleagues fed groups of mice different diets, including high-fat and low-fat diets, and high-fat diets supplemented with different kinds of flavanols. Results showed that adding one particular set of these compounds, known as oligomeric procyanidins (PCs), to the food made the biggest difference in preventing weight gain if they were on high-fat diets. Oligomeric PCs also improved glucose tolerance, which could potentially help to prevent type-2 diabetes. The researchers concluded: "Oligomeric PCs appear to possess the greatest antiobesity and antidiabetic bioactivities of the flavanols in cocoa, particularly at the low doses employed for the present study."
Dorenkott MR, Griffin LE, Goodrich KM, Thompson-Witrick KA, Fundaro G, Ye L, Stevens JR, et al. Oligomeric Cocoa Procyanidins Possess Enhanced Bioactivity Compared to Monomeric and Polymeric Cocoa Procyanidins for Preventing the Development of Obesity, Insulin Resistance, and Impaired Glucose Tolerance during High-Fat Feeding. J Agric Food Chem. 2014;62:2216-2227.