Cocoa flavonoids could delay the progression of diabetes type 2

A study led by scientists of the Spanish Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN-CSIC), supports the idea that cocoa flavanols could delay the progression of diabetes type 2 by preventing the loss of functional beta-cell mass induces by the diabetic conditions. This study that has been carried out in collaboration with the Complutense University of Madrid and the Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders (CIBERDEM) of the Institute of Health Carlos III has been published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

Cocoa is a rich source of phytochemicals, mainly flavanols with recognized anitoxidant and anti-inflamatory properties. Recently, it has been showed that cocoa flavanols may have anti-diabetic potential by promoting survival and function of pancreatic beta-cells in vitro. This study show for the first time in an animal model of diabetes type 2, the obese Zucker diabetic rats (ZDF), that a cocoa rich diet improved pancreatic antioxidant defences and prevent oxidative stress and beta cell death in the pre-diabetic milieu.

Fernández-Millán et al. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2015, 59, 820-824

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Beta cells in diabetic control animals (ZDF) and diabetic treated with cocoa (ZDF-Cacao)