Can cocoa help reduce diabetes risk?

We know that eating chocolates can make you become overweight because chocolates are often high in sugar and fat.

However, recent studies have found that chocolates have some health benefits.

For example, one study presented at Experimental Biology 2018 shows that dark chocolate can improve your stress levels, inflammation, mood memory and even immunity.

The research shows that dark chocolate has a high concentrate of cocoa (minimally 70% cocoa, 30% organic cane sugar).

Cocoa is a major source of flavonoids. It has been tested on animals in the past and now on humans, and the findings show that cocoa can support cognitive, endocrine and heart health.

Another recent study from University of Warwick in UK shows that eating a bit chocolate every day can reduce your heart disease and diabetes risk.

The researchers checked 1153 people aged 18-69 years old and found that those who ate 100g of chocolate per day (about a bar) had reduced insulin resistance and better liver enzymes.

The researchers said, “Given the growing body of evidence, including our own study, cocoa-based products may represent an additional dietary recommendation to improve cardio-metabolic health”.

“People can eat consume a wide range of phytochemical-rich foods, which can include dark chocolate in moderate amounts.”

But the researchers also warned that natural product cocoa and the processed product chocolate may have different effects on health, because chocolate is energy-dense food.

Therefore, exercise and a healthy diet are necessary to avoid weight gain.

So why cocoa can help reduce diabetes risk?

One new study from Brigham Young University and Virginia Tech gives the answer.

A hallmark of type 2 diabetes is β-cell dysfunction and the eventual loss of functional β-cells. Thus, methods that can improve or preserve β-cell function may improve the quality of life in people of the disease.

The researchers hypothesized that cocoa flavanols may benefit β-cell function. To test these, the researchers fed cocoa compounds to animals on a high-fat diet.

They found that when cocoa was added to the high-fat diet, it decreased obesity in the animals and helped deal with increased blood sugar levels.

At the cellular level, they found that cocoa compounds enhanced β-cells’ ability to secrete insulin and deal with oxidative stress.

Moreover, the researchers found that epicatechin monomers, the smallest of the cocoa compounds, are the most effective to improve insulin resistance level.

“These results will help us get closer to using these compounds more effectively in foods or supplements to maintain normal blood glucose control and potentially even delay or prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes,” said the team.

They hope the finding can help develop new method to cure type 2 diabetes. Ideally, there should be ways to take the compound out of cocoa, make more of it and then use it as a potential treatment.

To summarize, eating dark chocolate may be good for people with type 2 diabetes because cocoa flavanols can help improve insulin resistance.

If you are enjoying eating chocolate, you can choose the ones that have the high-level of cocoa and low-level of sugar.

Copyright © 2018 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.