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    Cocoa prevents diet-induced obesity in rats

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Monday, March 19, 2007 4:50 am Email this article
    Cocoa prevents diet-induced obesity in rats fed a high fat diet by affecting genes involved in fat production according to a recent study from Japan. Obesity

    Cocoa prevented diet-induced obesity

    Growing rats fed a high-fat diet containing cocoa gained 21 percent less weight than rats fed the same diet without cocoa.


    HDL and triglycerides

    Cocoa lowered triglycerides and increased HDL levels

    The cocoa also reduced triglycerides, and increased HDL levels.


    Calorie Intake

    Cocoa did not affect calorie intake

    The cocoa did not affect calorie intake.



    Equal to 10 Tablespoons of cocoa per day

    The amount of cocoa used was the human equivalent of 50 grams of cocoa (10 Tablespoons) per day.


    Fat Production

    Cocoa decreased fat production

    They found that cocoa decreased gene expression for genes involved in the production of fatty acids.

    “These results suggest that cocoa ingestion leads to gene expression to decrease [fat] accumulation in [white fat],” the authors noted.



    Cocoa increased thermogenesis

    The also found that cocoa increased gene expression for genes involved in thermogenesis, increased uncoupling protein 2 (UPC-2).

    “We found that cocoa ingestion suppressed the high-fat diet-induced gain of body weights, weights of [white fat], and serum [triglyceride] concentration in rats,” the authors concluded.



    Conclusion: Cocoa prevents diet-induced obesity by decreasing fat production and increasing thermogenesis

    “[C]ocoa can prevent high-fat diet-induced obesity by modulating [fat] metabolism, especially by decreasing fatty acid synthesis and transport systems, and enhancement of part of the thermogenesis mechanism in liver and white adipose tissue,” the authors concluded.


    Unsweetened Cocoa

    Same As Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa

    In the study, they made their own cocoa, but it was the same as you Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa you can buy in the store such as the one pictured below.

    I would suggest adding it to low-fat milk or to a protein shake, something that you can drink without adding sugar.


    Matsui N, Ito R, Nishimura E, Yoshikawa M, Kato M, Kamei M, Shibata H, Matsumoto I, Abe K, Hashizume S. Ingested cocoa can prevent high-fat diet-induced obesity by regulating the expression of genes for fatty acid metabolism. Nutrition. 2005 May, 21(5):594-601.


    N. Matsui
    Research Institute
    Morinaga & Co., Ltd.
    Kanagawa, Japan
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


    On Mar 20, 2007 at 2:41 am Bruce wrote:

    . . . . .

    I'm currious about the type of cocoa used in these studies. Is it the same as the dutch process cocoa sold in stores? Thanks again for this site, it is a great resource in keeping up with the field. Bruce

    On Mar 20, 2007 at 4:32 am Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    Yes, it is the same as Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa.

    In the study, they bought cocoa beans, roasted them, and made the cocoa powder themselves, but I checked the protein and fat content and it is exactly the same.

    On Mar 20, 2007 at 10:38 am Bruce wrote:

    . . . . .

    Thanks for the follow-up. Bruce

    On Mar 20, 2007 at 10:52 am Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    You're welcome.

    On Aug 07, 2007 at 12:42 pm Bev wrote:

    . . . . .

    From what Larry says, it was not Dutch-processed cocoa. Dutch-processed cocoa is alkalized to remove the bitterness. If you read the study manuscript they point to the polyphenols, particularly procyanidins, as the possible reason for the cocoa's fat-reducing benefits. The alkalizing process removes substantial amounts of the procyanidins, which would render it much less effective. You would need to use non-alkalized cocoa powder.

    On Aug 07, 2007 at 4:20 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    Thank you for the clarification on this.

    I was not aware of what Dutch-processing does to cocoa.

    I just searched the PDF of the paper for a mention of the word "procyanidins", but they don't seem to mention it in this paper.

    Increase fat burning

    They state that cocoa may increase the burning of fat.

    Assumed due to PEA content

    I would assume that this would be due to the PEA content of cocoa -- phenylethylamine -- but they don't mention this in the paper either.

    Most diet pills PEA derivatives

    Most prescription diet pills are derivatives of PEA is why I say this.

    I am taking 3-4 Tablespoons of cocoa per day

    I have been taking 3-4 Tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder mixed in protein shakes every day after reading a study which found that men taking 5 Tablespoons per day increased HDL levels by 24 percent. This is huge.

    And the research strongly suggests to me that increasing HDL levels is a great way to reduce the risk of heart disease with other possible benefits.

    Five 10 ounce cans $16.77 from Amazon

    I am using Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa, 10-Ounce Can (Pack of 5) purchased from Amazon.

    The price for a 5-pack is only $16.77 and if you buy two of these, which I did, shipping if free. What a deal.

    Hershey's and Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa not Dutch-processed

    I just checked a can of both Hershey's and Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa and don't see anything about it being Dutch-processed, so I assume it is not.

    On Aug 07, 2007 at 4:22 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .

    Here is the link to the Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa, 10-Ounce Can (Pack of 5) on Amazon.


    On Aug 08, 2007 at 3:43 am Bev wrote:

    . . . . .

    Larry, I checked and you're right...procyanidins weren't mentioned in the study you're referring to. But I did remember seeing it so I did a google search and found it here:


    They studied the anti-obesity effects of procyanidins from tea, hops and apples, and since procyanidins are the dominant polyphenol in cocoa, I made the connection. If you do a google search for "cocoa" and "procyanidins" you'll find several studies and information in general. grin
    Sadly, Amazon won't ship the Ghirardelli cocoa to Canada, so I'm stuck paying a lot more for other brands. :-(

    On Aug 08, 2007 at 4:43 am Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    Very interesting. I was not aware of this.

    Thanks for the info.

    Too bad about Amazon not shipping the item to Canada. It is a much better deal than buying cocoa in the store.

    Please feel free to share your comments about this article.




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