Potential cardiovascular health benefits of procyanidins present in chocolate and cocoa

Monica M. Bearden, Debra A. Pearson, Dietrich Rein, Kati A. Chevaux, Dana R. Carpenter, Carl L Keen, Harold Schmitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Recent epidemiological research indicates that diets rich in flavonoid-containing foods may be associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. This protective effect is attributed, in part, to the ability of flavonoids to act as antioxidants. Certain chocolates and cocoas contain substantial amounts of procyanidins, and thus belong in the category of flavonoid-rich foods. Recent advancements in the identification and isolation of procyanidins, especially oligomeric procyanidins, from chocolate and cocoa have facilitated the investigation of individual procyanidin fractions with regard to their potential cardiovascular health benefits. In the following paper, we report on the antioxidant capacity of a cocoa as determined by the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) assay, and the ability of individual procyanidin fractions from this same cocoa to inhibit low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation in vitro. In addition, mechanisms are discussed by which flavonoids in chocolate and cocoa may enhance cardiovascular health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalACS Symposium Series
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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