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Cocoa as prebiotic - 2011 paper by Tzounis et al

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by MeSci, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    As this is an old paper it may already have a thread, but I couldn't find it.

    Prebiotic evaluation of cocoa-derived flavanols in healthy humans by using a randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover intervention study
    1. Xenofon Tzounis,
    2. Ana Rodriguez-Mateos,
    3. Jelena Vulevic,
    4. Glenn R Gibson,
    5. Catherine Kwik-Uribe, and
    6. Jeremy PE Spencer
    1. From the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, The University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom (XT, AR-M, JV, GRG, and JPES), and the Analytical and Applied Sciences Group, Mars Inc, Hackettstown, NJ (CK-U).
    (my emphasis!)

    Abstract

    Background:
    The absorption of cocoa flavanols in the small intestine is limited, and the majority of the flavanols reach the large intestine where they may be metabolized by resident microbiota.

    Objective: We assessed the prebiotic potential of cocoa flavanols in a randomized, double-blind, crossover, controlled intervention study.

    Design: Twenty-two healthy human volunteers were randomly assigned to either a high–cocoa flavanol (HCF) group (494 mg cocoa flavanols/d) or a low–cocoa flavanol (LCF) group (23 mg cocoa flavanols/d) for 4 wk. This was followed by a 4-wk washout period before volunteers crossed to the alternant arm. Fecal samples were recovered before and after each intervention, and bacterial numbers were measured by fluorescence in situ hybridization. A number of other biochemical and physiologic markers were measured.

    Results: Compared with the consumption of the LCF drink, the daily consumption of the HCF drink for 4 wk significantly increased the bifidobacterial (P < 0.01) and lactobacilli (P < 0.001) populations but significantly decreased clostridia counts (P < 0.001). These microbial changes were paralleled by significant reductions in plasma triacylglycerol (P < 0.05) and C-reactive protein (P < 0.05) concentrations. Furthermore, changes in C-reactive protein concentrations were linked to changes in lactobacilli counts (P < 0.05, R2 = −0.33 for the model). These in vivo changes were closely paralleled by cocoa flavanol–induced bacterial changes in mixed-batch culture experiments.

    Conclusion: This study shows, for the first time to our knowledge, that consumption of cocoa flavanols can significantly affect the growth of select gut microflora in humans, which suggests the potential prebiotic benefits associated with the dietary inclusion of flavanol-rich foods. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01091922.

    Full text here

    NB This 2011 thread indicates that cocoa is not suitable for everyone.
     
    roller, Beyond, Mij and 3 others like this.
  2. Beyond

    Beyond Juice Me Up, Scotty!!!

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    Yep, read this (and other papers backing it up) back in 2015 and ended having severe gut inflammation from eating (otherwise delicious) raw cocoa powder with my oat milk. Apparently chocolate is one of these things my intestine reacts immunologically like its poison, like it does with coconut or honey (which apparently I can tolerate now in small amounts).

    In general, a diet high in varied veggies and fruits is plentifully served with prebiotics. I feel like I eat like one of these high-end athletes, and I get rewarded with better digestion.
     
    MeSci likes this.
  3. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    One study found that chocolate is also good for ME/CFS. I find that a good dose of chocolate (say 50 grams daily) noticeably reduces the feeling of inflammation I have in my head.

    The only thing I found that was better than chocolate for reducing this inflammatory feeling is acetyl-L-carnitine 1000 mg daily. But chocolate tastes so much nicer!
     
    seunderwood likes this.
  4. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    I eat raw cacao chocolate on a fairly regular basis, I can't say it has any noticeable effect on symptoms but there's enough evidence that it has benefits.
     
  5. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    That was a tiny study with significant conflicts of interest due to industry involvement (Nestlé). There was a thread about it.
     
  6. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Well I have no personal conflicts of interest when I report my observation that chocolate reduces the ME/CFS inflammatory feeling in my head.
     
  7. roller

    roller wiggle jiggle

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    1. milka
    2. ritter sport
    3. black baking chocolate

    lindt as an inferior substitute

    cadbury, even the expensive i dont consider to be chocolate at all, as is white chocolate. its something different.
    other chocolates also only have little effect, at best.

    instant cocoa i never liked,
    cocoa drink from raw cocoa + milk + sugar is ok, at times.

    im wondering, if there are other fats in the chocolate that make the difference.
    also, because those hollow easter bunnies, santa clause are also awesome.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    I use these brands of cocoa:

    http://www.equalexchange.co.uk/products/organic-cocoa/
    http://www.greenandblacks.co.uk/our-range/Hot-Drinks/Cocoa-Powder?p=2679&c1=1570

    and this chocolate:

    http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi...Dairy_Free_Chocolate__No_Added_Sugar_45g.html

    All delicious, ethical and healthy (unless you can't tolerate cocoa, of course)!
     
    Crux likes this.

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