Chocolate at heart: The anti-inflammatory impact of cocoa flavanols

Carlo Selmi, Claudio A. Cocchi, Mario Lanfredini, Carl L Keen, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chronic and acute inflammation underlies the molecular basis of atherosclerosis. Cocoa-based products are among the richest functional foods based upon flavanols and their influence on the inflammatory pathway, as demonstrated by several in vitro or ex vivo studies. Indeed, flavanols modify the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, the synthesis of eicosanoids, the activation of platelets, and nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms. A relative paucity of data still characterizes the in vivo implications of these findings albeit there have been studies suggesting that the regular or occasional consumption of cocoa-rich compounds exerts beneficial effects on blood pressure, insulin resistance, vascular damage, and oxidative stress. Accordingly, 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1340-1348
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Volume52
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Fingerprint

Functional Food
Eicosanoids
Platelet Activation
chocolate
flavanols
Blood Vessels
Insulin Resistance
Atherosclerosis
Nitric Oxide
Oxidative Stress
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
heart
Cytokines
Blood Pressure
Inflammation
Health
platelet activation
eicosanoids
in vivo studies
atherosclerosis

Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cocoa
  • Flavanols
  • Immunology
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology

Cite this

Chocolate at heart : The anti-inflammatory impact of cocoa flavanols. / Selmi, Carlo; Cocchi, Claudio A.; Lanfredini, Mario; Keen, Carl L; Gershwin, M. Eric.

In: Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, Vol. 52, No. 11, 11.2008, p. 1340-1348.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Selmi, Carlo ; Cocchi, Claudio A. ; Lanfredini, Mario ; Keen, Carl L ; Gershwin, M. Eric. / Chocolate at heart : The anti-inflammatory impact of cocoa flavanols. In: Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 2008 ; Vol. 52, No. 11. pp. 1340-1348.
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