Cocoa Phytochemicals: Recent Advances in Molecular Mechanisms on Health

  title={Cocoa Phytochemicals: Recent Advances in Molecular Mechanisms on Health},
  author={Jiyoung Kim and Jaekyoon Kim and Jaesung Shim and Chang Yong Lee and Ki Won Lee and Hyong Joo Lee},
  journal={Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition},
  pages={1458 - 1472}
Recent reports on cocoa are appealing in that a food commonly consumed for pure pleasure might also bring tangible benefits for human health. Cocoa consumption is correlated with reduced health risks of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and cancer, and the health-promoting effects of cocoa are mediated by cocoa-driven phytochemicals. Cocoa is rich in procyanidins, theobromine, (−)-epicatechin, catechins, and caffeine. Among the phytochemicals present in consumed cocoa… 

Impact of cocoa flavanols on human health.

  • M. MartínS. Ramos
  • Biology, Medicine
    Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association
  • 2021

Cocoa Bioactive Compounds: Significance and Potential for the Maintenance of Skin Health

In vivo studies showing that bioactive compounds of cocoa may have a positive impact on skin health are summarized, emphasizing potential cytoprotective pathways modulated by cocoa and its polyphenolic components.

Protective effects of tea, red wine and cocoa in diabetes. Evidences from human studies.

  • M. MartínL. GoyaS. Ramos
  • Medicine
    Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association
  • 2017

Evidence of Some Natural Products with Antigenotoxic Effects. Part 2: Plants, Vegetables, and Natural Resin

This review presents a research overview conducted on some plants and vegetables frequently consumed by humans, whose antigenotoxic power has been demonstrated in various tests, including the Ames assay, sister chromatid exchange, chromosomal aberrations, micronucleus, and comet assay.

The Impact of Cocoa Flavanols on Cardiovascular Health

Chocolate products marketed for their purported health benefits should therefore declare the amounts of total flavanols and epicatechin, and cocoa flavanol doses of around 900 mg or above may decrease blood pressure in specific individuals and/or if consumed over longer periods.

Cocobiota: Implications for Human Health

Various metabolites produced by cocobiota can mimic some medicinal effects of dark chocolate and other cocoa-derived products previously attributed to cocoa flavonoids and methylxanthines and need to be thoroughly investigated in in vitro and in vivo systems.


Researchers have confirmed that various phytochemicals and bioactive components are present in these indigenous herbs and medicinal plants that ensure their medicinal attribute and thus are an important part of modern functional and nutraceutical foods.

Managing hypertension by polyphenols.

Whether and how limitations of scientific knowledge, data derived from large randomized clinical trials, and an accurate assessment of the bioactive components provided by common foodstuff may complicate the extensive use of plant-derived products in the management of hypertension are discussed.

Antidiabetic actions of cocoa flavanols.

Insight is provided into the molecular machinery of the chemopreventive activity of cocoa and its flavanols by compiling cell culture and animal models studies, as well as evidence from human interventional trials.

Cardioprotection by Cocoa Polyphenols and ω-3 Fatty Acids: A Disease-Prevention Perspective on Aging-Associated Cardiovascular Risk

The purpose of this review is to summarize the major cardioprotective effects of CPs and ω-3 fatty acids, providing a scientific rationale for incorporating the combination of these molecules as a nutritional intervention in the prevention of CVD.



Chemopreventive Effects of Cocoa Polyphenols on Chronic Diseases 1

  • J. Weisburger
  • Biology, Medicine
    Experimental biology and medicine
  • 2001
It would seem reasonable to suggest inhibition of the several phases of the complex processes leading to cancer, as a function of quantitative intake of antioxidants, including those from cocoa and chocolates.

Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: implications for cardiovascular health.

This paper offers a review of current scientific research regarding the potential cardiovascular health benefits of flavonoids found in cocoa and chocolate, and recommends by health professionals to encourage individuals to consume a wide range of phytochemical-rich foods, which can include dark chocolate in moderate amounts.

Cocoa polyphenols and inflammatory mediators.

Research on the effects of cocoa polyphenols on leukotriene and nitric oxide (NO) metabolism and on myeloperoxidase-induced modification of LDL found that ingested flavonoids may reverse endothelial dysfunction through enhancement of NO bioactivity.

Cocoa: antioxidant and immunomodulator

It is suggested that high-dose cocoa intake in young rats favours the T helper 1 (Th1) response and increases intestinal γδ T lymphocyte count, whereas the antibody-secreting response decreases.

The Anti-inflammatory Properties of Cocoa Flavanols

Flavanol-rich cocoa could be a potential candidate for the treatment, or possibly prevention, of the broad array of chronic diseases that are linked to dysfunctional inflammatory responses, and additional research in well-designed human clinical experiments would be a welcome addition to the evidence base.

(-)-Epicatechin mediates beneficial effects of flavanol-rich cocoa on vascular function in humans.

  • H. SchroeterC. Heiss M. Kelm
  • Biology, Medicine
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2006
The data demonstrate that the human ingestion of the flavanol (-)-epicatechin is, at least in part, causally linked to the reported vascular effects observed after the consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa.

Chocolate at heart: the anti-inflammatory impact of cocoa flavanols.

R rigorous controlled human studies with adequate follow-up and with the use of critical dietary questionnaires are needed to determine the effects of flavanols on the major endpoints of cardiovascular health.

A dose-response effect from chocolate consumption on plasma epicatechin and oxidative damage.

The theories that in healthy adults, a positive relationship exists between procyanidin consumption and plasma procyAnidin concentration and the rise in plasma epicatechin contributes to the ability of plasma to scavenge free radicals and to inhibit lipid peroxidation are supported.

Dietary flavanols and procyanidin oligomers from cocoa (Theobroma cacao) inhibit platelet function.

Cocoa flavanol and procyanidin supplementation for 28 d significantly increased plasma epicatechin and catechin concentrations and significantly decreased platelet function, which support the results of acute studies that used higher doses of cocoa flavanols and proCyanidins.

Cocoa and Cardiovascular Health

This review summarizes the available data on the cardiovascular effects of cocoa, outlines potential mechanisms involved in the response to cocoa, and highlights the potential clinical implications associated with its consumption.