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Chocolade - cacao


Cocoa, but not tea, may lower blood pressure

Foods rich in cocoa appear to reduce blood pressure but drinking tea may not, according to an analysis of previously published research in the April 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-04/jaaj-cbn040507.php


Natural compound and exercise boost memory in mice

A natural compound found in blueberries, tea, grapes and cocoa enhances memory in mice, according to newly published research. This effect increased further when mice also exercised regularly.

http://www.sfn.org/?pagename=news_052907a


New study suggests special cocoa may lead to sustained improvement in blood vessel function

A new study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology found that regular consumption of a special Mars Inc. cocoa containing cocoa flavanols may have a sustained benefit on blood vessel health. This is the first study to suggest the cardiovascular benefits of flavanol-rich cocoa could be long term.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-03/wsw-nss030607.php


Cocoa 'vitamin' health benefits could outshine penicillin

The health benefits of epicatechin, a compound found in cocoa, are so striking that it may rival penicillin and anaesthesia in terms of importance to public health, reports Marina Murphy in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI. Norman Hollenberg, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told C&I that epicatechin is so important that it should be considered a vitamin

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-03/soci-ch030707.php


Cravings for chocolate increased by dieting

New research led by Professor Ben Fletcher and Dr Karen Pine at the University’s School of Psychology, has revealed that dieting leads women into a vicious cycle of negative emotions which in turn provokes cravings for the very foods they are trying to avoid, chocolate being one of the most powerful. "An ideal target food for such research is chocolate, since it is often the subject of a love-hate relationship," said Dr Pine. "While it is loved for its pleasurable taste, scent and texture, it is often disliked by some for its perceived high calorific and sugar content and, as a result, some people make a conscious effort to restrict their consumption of it."

http://perseus.herts.ac.uk/extrel/press-office/press--releases/pr-130207-hm.cfm


Boosting brain power -- with chocolate

Eating chocolate could help to sharpen up the mind and give a short-term boost to cognitive skills, a University of Nottingham expert has found.

A study led by Professor Ian Macdonald found that consumption 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 hours.

Increased blood flow to these areas of the brain may help to increase performance in specific tasks and boost general alertness over a short period.

The findings, unveiled at one of the biggest scientific conferences in America, also raise the prospect of ingredients in chocolate being used to treat vascular impairment, including dementia and strokes, and thus for maintaining cardiovascular health.

The study also suggests that the cocoa flavanols found in chocolate could be useful in enhancing brain function for people fighting fatigue, sleep deprivation, and even the effects of ageing.

Ian Macdonald, professor of metabolic physiology at The University of Nottingham, used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect increased activity in specific areas of the brain in individuals who had consumed a single drink of flavanol-rich cocoa. The effect is linked to dilation of cerebral blood vessels, allowing more blood — and therefore more oxygen — to reach key areas of the brain.

Flavanols are not only found in chocolate with a high cocoa content — they are also present in other substances such as red wine, green tea and blueberries.

He presented his research at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the biggest annual gatherings of scientists from all over the world. This year's meeting takes place in San Francisco from February 15–19.

Professor Macdonald said: "Acute consumption of this particular flavanol-rich cocoa beverage was associated with increased grey matter flow for two to three hours.

"The demonstration of an effect of consuming this particular beverage on cerebral blood flow raises the possibility that certain food ingredients may be beneficial in increasing brain blood flow and enhancing brain function, in situations where individuals are cognitively impaired such as fatigue, sleep deprivation, or possibly ageing."

He emphasised that the level of cocoa flavanol used in the study is not available commercially. The cocoa-rich flavanol beverage was specially formulated for the purpose of the study.

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/


Cocoa Boosts "Good" Cholesterol

Drinking cocoa each day may boost levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol, Japanese researchers report. Researchers, who included Kazuo Kondo, MD, PhD, of Tokyo's Ochanomizu University, studied 25 healthy Japanese men with normal or mildly high cholesterol levels.

http://www.onhealth.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=79747


Cocoa 'Vitamin' Health Benefits Could Outshine Penicillin

The health benefits of epicatechin, a compound found in cocoa, are so striking that it may rival penicillin and anaesthesia in terms of importance to public health, reports Marina Murphy in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI. Norman Hollenberg, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told C&I that epicatechin is so important that it should be considered a vitamin.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070311202024.htm


The Kuna indians and chocolate

Given the availability of an uncertain water supply, the Kuna boiled all of their drinking water. As growing cocoa has been part of their culture for many centuries, they were part of the Inca Empire, the Kuna took advantage of the boiled water to make cocoa, which serves as their primary, indeed sole, drink. The island-dwelling Kuna drink five cups of cocoa a day, as a minimum, and often much more. The cocoa that they use is mostly home grown and is processed very gently. The cocoa that the island-dwelling Kuna drink is very rich in flavanoids. These flavanoids are the same as those in red wine, tea, and onions – all of which have been claimed to display cardiovascular protection. In vitro, these flavanoids mimic the actions of acetylcholine on isolated strips of vascular smooth muscle, inducing vasorelaxation. That action is reversed if the endothelium is removed; is blocked by arginine analogs such as N-monomethyl-arginine and L-NAME, and is associated with conversion of arginine to citruline. In the island-dwelling Kuna who drink substantial amounts of cocoa, the renal excretion of nitric oxide metabolites, nitrate and nitrite, is extremely high when compared to city-dwelling Kuna who drink little or no cocoa. Indeed, the only cocoa available to city dwellers is the usual commercial sources in which the flavanoid content is very low because of processing. All of the commercially-available cocoas that we have assayed are flavanoid-poor.

http://www.dfhcc.harvard.edu/membership/member-profile/member/586/0/


 

 

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