Unlocking the benefits of cocoa flavanols

Taylor C. Wallace, Wagner Maky, Leveille Gilbert, Carl L Keen, Catillrine E. Woteki, Manley Charles, Steven W. Rizr, Beber David, Anil J. Shrikhande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Understanding cocoa flavanols and their mechanisms for health may drive development of the next generation of functional food products. The bioavailability and bioactivity of flavanols, and their oligomers (procyanidins) differ depending on their chemical composition, isomeric form and chain length, their interactions with other components present in the food matrix, and their breakdown products following gut metabolism. While the consumption of a flavonoid-rich cocoa does not change the antioxidant capacity of the plasma, it can modulate circulation and decrease tissue inflammation. The consumption of flavonoid-rich diets is associated with decreased risk of hypertension and decreased mortality from cardiovascular disease. The effects observed with experimental animal models and studies with healthy human adult subjects support the concept that consumption of flavanol-rich foods can result in acute (1-30 days) improvements in vascular health and blood flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalFood Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Chemistry(all)


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