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Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Fight Obesity and Diabetes

Update Date: Apr 03, 2014 10:08 AM EDT

Based on several studies, many researchers have concluded that dark chocolate, when eaten in moderation, can be extremely beneficial to one's health. In another recent study, researchers examined one particular ingredient in dark chocolate known as oligomeric procyanidins (PCs). They found that this particular type of flavonol can prevent obesity and diabetes.

The researchers of this study composed of Dr. Andrew Neilson and his colleagues were already aware of the effects of flavonol found in dark chocolate. Flavonols have been tied to improving heart health by reducing blood pressure levels and improving blood flow. For this study, the team decided to test the effects that this ingredient might have on weight. They grouped mouse models into different diets, which were high-fat, low-fat and high-fat diets supplemented with different types of flavonols.

From all of the different kinds of flavonols, the team concluded that oligomeric PCs had the greatest effect on health. Despite eating a high-fat diet, the mice were still able to maintain low weight and low blood sugar levels. In addition, the mice were able to tolerate glucose more efficiently, which reduced their risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

"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," the researchers wrote according to FOX News.

The team noted that flavonols are often processed out of dark chocolate products due to their bitterness. The researchers stated that in order to reap the benefits of this ingredient, people should look for unprocessed dark chocolate products to snack on.

The study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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