Monday, April 14, 2014

New Uses for Cocoa: Weight Loss, Fighting Diabetes, Etc.?

Cocoa man Andrew Neilson
Sit down, now. Relax. Breathe. Listen closely and don't react so that your heart stops.

Seems a scientist at Virginia Tech has found that something in cocoa--an antioxident--can "dramatically increase the body’s ability to fight many modern-day ailments such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease."

Before you go all silly on me, let me explain that that does not mean you should load up the van and move to Hershey, PA, so you can do chocolate straight from the factory, via IV, into your bloodstream.

There's actually a good bit more to it than that. And it's not all happy talk.

Guy named Andrew Neilson, an assistant prof in food science, found "that one particular type of antioxidant in cocoa prevented laboratory mice from gaining excess weight and lowered their blood sugar levels," according to a Tech press releas this a.m.

The discovery is described as "a first-of-its-kind," which makes sense given that we still have some cocoa left. Neilson wrote about it in an article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a sort of bible for that kind of stuff.

Additionally, says Neilson (who works at the Fralin Life Science Institute, he found that “initially cocoa was shown to have cardiovascular benefits. Now, we are looking at other benefits of cocoa beyond the heart.” Start with some of the buttons sex pushes, I'd suggest.

Now the buzz kill: Neilson says the research can lead to the development of healthy food additives made from cocoa compounds, according to the release. “We are trying to identify compounds and insert them into products that can be enhanced to elicit desired health effects,” he says, sounding more like a scientist than a foodie or an addict.

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