Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Flavonoids in chocolate

Cocoa contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods. Flavonoids, including catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidins predominate in antioxidant activity. The tricyclic structure of the flavonoids determines antioxidant effects that scavenge reactive oxygen species, chelate Fe2+ and Cu+, inhibit enzymes, and upregulate antioxidant defenses.

Cocoa has the highest flavanol contents of all foods on a per-weight basis and is a significant contributor to the total dietary intake of flavonoids. The main subclasses of flavonoids found in cocoa are flavanols, particularly the flavanol monomers catechin and epicatechin, and their oligomers, also known as procyanidins.

Epidemiological evidence supports the notion that long-term flavanol intake provides a number of health benefits, including neurocognitive enhancement and neuroprotective effects.

A large-scale, longer duration study in the Netherlands recruited men aged 65-84 years. The subjects were asked about their dietary intake when they enrolled in the study and again at five-year intervals. Over the next 15 years, men who consumed cocoa regularly had significantly lower blood pressure than those who did not.

Iron (Fe) deficiency is one of the most important nutritional problems in the world (50). Milk chocolate contains 5% of the RDA for iron for adult men and postmenopausal women (0.42 mg) per 100 kcal; dark chocolate provides 25% of the RDA (1.90 mg).
Dietary intake of chocolate

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