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Jul
2006
Predictive Analysis of Cocoa Procyanidins Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Techniques

Journal of Food Science 2003, 68 (9), 2618-2622.

A near-infrared reflectance (NIR) spectroscopy technique for the prediction of procyanidins in cocoa beans (Theobroma cacao) has been developed. A select group of cocoa liquors from different origins used for the manufacture of chocolate were analyzed to determine quantitative levels of procyanidin oligomers (monomer to decamer) using normal-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The calibration set included seasonal, environmental, and...

Jun
2006
Procyanidin dimer B2 [epicatechin-(4beta-8)-epicatechin] suppresses the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in endotoxin-treated monocytic cells.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2006, 345 (1), 508-15.

The anti-inflammatory activity of the predominant procyanidin dimer in cocoa, dimer B2, was investigated in this study. Pretreatment of the reduced COX-2 expression induced by the endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in differentiated human monocytic cells (THP-1) in culture. To further elucidate the underlying mechanism of COX-2 inhibition by procyanidin, we examined their effects on the activation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase...

Jun
2006
Long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced erythema and improves skin condition in women.

J Nutr 2006, 136 (6), 1565-9.

Dietary antioxidants contribute to endogenous photoprotection and are important for the maintenance of skin health. In the present study, 2 groups of women consumed either a highflavanol (326 mg/d) or low flavanol (27 mg/d) cocoa powder dissolved in 100 mL water for 12 wk. Epicatechin (61 mg/d) and catechin (20 mg/d) were the major flavanol monomers in the high flavanoldrink, whereas the low flavanol drink contained 6.6 mg epicatechin and 1.6 mg...

Jan
2006
(-)-Epicatechin mediates beneficial effects of flavanol-rich cocoa on vascular function in humans.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2006, 103 (4), 1024-9.

Epidemiological and medical anthropological investigations suggest that flavanol-rich foods exert cardiovascular health benefits. Endothelial dysfunction, a prognostically relevant key event in atherosclerosis, is characterized by a decreased bioactivity of nitric oxide (NO) and impaired flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD). We show in healthy male adults that the ingestion of flavanol-rich cocoawas associated with acute elevations in levels of...

Jan
2006
Chronic consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa improves endothelial function and decreases vascular cell adhesion molecule in hypercholesterolemic postmenopausal women.

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2006, 47 Suppl 2, S177-86; discussion S206-9.

Endothelial dysfunction characterizes many disease states including subclinical atherosclerosis. Theconsumption of flavanol-rich cocoa and cocoa-based products has been shown to improveendothelial function in both compromised and otherwise normal, healthy individuals when administered either acutely or over a period of several days, or weeks. Women experience increased risk for cardiovascular disease after menopause, which can be associated with...

Jan
2006
The anti-inflammatory properties of cocoa flavanols.

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2006, 47 Suppl 2, S163-71; discussion S172-6.

Signs of chronic or acute inflammation have been demonstrated in most cardiovascular diseases of multifactorial pathogenesis, including atherosclerosis and chronic heart failure. The triggers and mechanisms leading to inflammation may vary between clinical conditions but they share many common mediators, including specific patterns of eicosanoid and cytokine production. Certain cocoa-based products can be rich in a subclass of flavonoids known...

Jan
2006
The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on the fMRI response to a cognitive task in healthy young people.

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2006, 47 Suppl 2, S215-20.

Flavanols are the main flavonoids found in cocoa and chocolate, and can be especially abundant in certain cocoas. Research over the past decade has identified flavanols as showing diverse beneficial physiologic and antioxidant effects, particularly in context of vascular function. The present study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging based on blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) contrast to explore the effect of flavanols on the...

Jan
2006
Analysis of flavanols in foods: what methods are required to enable meaningful health recommendations?

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2006, 47 Suppl 2, S110-8; discussion S119-21.

Flavanols and their related oligomeric compounds, the procyanidins, have received increased attention during the past decade due to their reported health benefits. On the basis of compelling data published during the past decade demonstrating that the consumption of certain flavanol-richfoods can improve markers of cardiovascular health, additional clinical, and epidemiological research is clearly warranted to establish appropriate public health...

Jan
2006
Cocoa flavanols and brain perfusion.

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2006, 47 Suppl 2, S210-4.

Foods and beverages rich in flavonoids are being heralded as potential preventive agents for a range of pathologic conditions, ranging from hypertension to coronary heart disease to stroke and dementia. We and others have demonstrated that short-term ingestion of cocoa, particularly rich in the subclass of flavonoids known as flavanols, induced a consistent and striking peripheral vasodilation in healthy people, improving endothelial function in...

Jan
2006
Endothelial function, nitric oxide, and cocoa flavanols.

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2006, 47 Suppl 2, S128-35; discussion S172-6.

Endothelial dysfunction is the pathophysiologic principle involved in the initiation and progression of arteriosclerosis, thus endothelial function serves as a "barometer" for cardiovascular health that can be used for the evaluation of new therapeutic strategies. This review provides an introduction to the concept of endothelial dysfunction, and it explores the importance of this prognostic marker in the context of clinical, dietary...

Jan
2006
High-performance liquid chromatography separation and purification of cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) procyanidins according to degree of polymerization using a diol stationary phase.

J Agric Food Chem 2006, 54 (5), 1571-6.

A new chromatographic approach for separating cacao procyanidins according to their degree ofpolymerization has been developed. It utilizes diol stationary phase columns operating in normal phase mode with a binary gradient of acidified acetonitrile and methanol-water. Performance of thediol stationary phase was evaluated on an analytical scale utilizing classical chromatographic conditions for the normal phase separation of procyanidins...

Jan
2006
Vascular action of cocoa flavanols in humans: the roots of the story.

Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 2006, 47, S99-S102.

Diet patterns are widely recognized as contributors to hypertension. Widely studied potential contributors include intake of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, soluble fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, alcohol, protein, and calories. We add to that list the effect of dietary flavanols present in certain cocoas, which have sufficient activity on vascular nitric oxide to influence blood pressure control. Kuna Indians who live on islands near Panama...

Jan
2006
Cocoa flavanols and platelet and leukocyte function: recent in vitro and ex vivo studies in healthy adults.

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2006, 47 Suppl 2, S197-205; discussion S206-9.

There is growing interest in possible beneficial effects of specific dietary components on cardiovascular health. Platelets and leukocytes contribute to arterial thrombosis and to inflammatory processes. Previous studies performed in vitro have demonstrated inhibition of platelet function by (-)-epicatechin and (+)-catechin, flavan-3-ols (flavanols) that are present in several foods including some cocoas. Also, some modest inhibition of platelet...

Jan
2006
Dietary flavanols and platelet reactivity.

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2006, 47 Suppl 2, S187-96; discussion S206-9.

Epidemiology studies suggest that the consumption of diets rich in flavonoids is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Plant-derived foods and beverages, such as red wine, tea, grape and grape juice, cocoa and chocolate, can be rich in 1 particular class of flavonoid, the flavan-3-ols. There is now an increasing body of research that suggests that consuming flavanol-rich foods can positively affect hemostasis, through...

Jan
2006
Hypertension, the Kuna, and the epidemiology of flavanols.

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2006, 47 Suppl 2, S103-9; discussion 119-21.

A low sodium diet has often been implicated in the protection of low blood pressure populations fromhypertension, but several other dietary factors, including those as yet unidentified, may also be involved. The Kuna Indians of Panama are free of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, but this is changing with migration to urban areas. We compared the indigenous diet of Kuna Indians living on remote islands in Panama (Ailigandi), whose...

Oct
2005
Acute consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa and the reversal of endothelial dysfunction in smokers.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2005, 46 (7), 1276-83.

OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to assess the effect of flavanol-rich food on the circulating pool of bioactive nitric oxide (NO) and endothelial dysfunction in smokers. BACKGROUND: Studies suggest that smoking-related vascular disease is caused by impaired NO synthesis and that diets rich in flavanols can increase bioactive NO in plasma. METHODS: In smokers (n = 11), the effects of flavanol-rich cocoa on circulating NO species in...

Aug
2005
Flavanols for cardiovascular health: the science behind the sweetness.

J Hypertens 2005, 23 (8), 1453-9.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Cardiovascular benefits for cocoa are being claimed in the scientific literature with growing intensity. To date, excitement over the potential health benefits of flavonoids has been driven mostly by epidemiological studies of tea and red wine, but raw cocoa contains specific flavonoids in concentrations far exceeding those from most other sources. Early evidence supports cocoa's enhancement of endothelial function via...

Jun
2005
Antioxidant and membrane effects of procyanidin dimers and trimers isolated from peanut and cocoa.

J Agric Food Chem 2005, 53 (12), 5041-8.

The antioxidant and membrane effects of dimer (Dim) and trimer (Trim) procyanidins isolated fromcocoa (Theobroma cacao) (B- and C-bonded) and peanut (Arachis hypogea L.) skin (A-bonded) were evaluated in phosphatidyl choline liposomes. When liposomes were oxidized with a steady source of oxidants, the above dimers and trimers inhibited to a similar extent lipid oxidation in a concentration (0.33-5 microM)-dependent manner. With respect to...

Apr
2005
Pentameric procyanidin from Theobroma cacao selectively inhibits growth of human breast cancer cells.

Mol Cancer Ther 2005, 4 (4), 537-46.

A naturally occurring, cocoa-derived pentameric procyanidin (pentamer) was previously shown to cause G0/G1 cell cycle arrest in human breast cancer cells by an unknown molecular mechanism. Here, we show that pentamer selectively inhibits the proliferation of human breast cancer cells (MDA MB-231, MDA MB-436, MDA MB-468, SKBR-3, and MCF-7) and benzo(a)pyrene-immortalized 184A1N4 and 184B5 cells. In contrast, normal human mammary epithelial cells...

Mar
2005
Influence of cocoa flavanols and procyanidins on free radical-induced human erythrocyte hemolysis.

Clin Dev Immunol 2005, 12 (1), 27-34.

Cocoa can be a rich source of antioxidants including the flavan-3-ols, epicatechin and catechin, and their oligomers (procyanidins). While these flavonoids have been reported to reduce the rate of freeradical-induced erythrocyte hemolysis in experimental animal models, little is known about their effect on human erythrocyte hemolysis. The major objective of this work was to study the effect of a flavonoid-rich cocoa beverage on the resistance of...

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Cardiovascular Publications

May
2002
The effects of flavanol-rich cocoa and aspirin on ex vivo platelet function.

Thromb Res 2002, 106 (4-5), 191-7.

BACKGROUND: Flavanols modulate platelet function in vitro, but less is known of their in vivo effects and how they compare to pharmacological platelet inhibitors. We investigated the effect of a flavanol-rich cocoabeverage (897 mg/ml) in combination with and in comparison to aspirin on platelet function and activation in healthy subjects. METHODS AND RESULTS: On separate test days in a crossover design, 16 healthy adults consumed aspirin (...

May
2002
Chocolate Consumption and Platelet Functio

Jama 2002, 287 (17), 2212-3.

Flavonoid-rich foods and beverages have putative vascular health benefits, including protection against ischemic stroke and reductions in platelet reactivity.1- 5 Tea, grapes, apples, and cocoa contain a class of flavonoids known as the flavanols, which includes epicatechin and catechin. Flavanols can polymerize, producing theaflavins and thearubigins (found in tea) and procyanidins (found in grapes, apples, and cocoa). We previously reported...

May
2002
Chocolate: A Heart-healthy Food? Show Me the Science!

Nutr Today 2002, 37 (3), 103-109

Cocoa and chocolate foods produced by appropriate methods can contribute significant amounts ofheart-healthy flavanols to the diet. These flavanols may enhance cardiovascular health by delaying blood clotting, improving vascular endothelial function, and helping to moderate inflammation. The benefits of chocolate can be enjoyed without guilt as part of a healthful balanced diet.

May
2002
Cocoa flavanols and cardiovascular health

Phytochemical Reviews 2002, 1 (231-240).

Fruits and vegetables have historically been considered rich sources of essential dietary micronutrients, soluble fiber, and antioxidants. More recently they are have been recognized as important sources for a wide array of phytochemicals that individually, or in combination, may benefit vascular health. Flavonoids are the largest, and most widely distributed class of phytochemicals, and can be further subdivided into several different sub-...

May
2002
Inhibitory effects of cocoa flavanols and procyanidin oligomers on free radical-induced erythrocyte hemolysis.

Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 2002, 227 (5), 321-9.

Excessive peroxidation of biomembranes is thought to contribute to the initiation and progression of numerous degenerative diseases. The present study examined the inhibitory effects of a cocoaextract, individual cocoa flavanols (-)-epicatechin and (+)-catechin, and procyanidin oligomers (dimer to decamer) isolated from cocoa on rat erythrocyte hemolysis. In vitro, the flavanols and theprocyanidin oligomers exhibited dose-dependent protection...

Mar
2002
Effect of cocoa flavanols and their related oligomers on the secretion of interleukin-5 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

J Med Food 2002, 5 (1), 17-22.

We previously showed that flavanols and their related oligomers (FLO) isolated from cocoa can have immunomodulatory effects on production of the cytokines interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), IL-2, and IL-4. In the present study, we examined whether selected FLO fractions isolated from cocoa (monomer through decamer) modulate IL-5 protein secretion from resting and phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Although...

Feb
2002
Evidence that the antioxidant flavonoids in tea and cocoa are beneficial for cardiovascular health.

Curr Opin Lipidol 2002, 13 (1), 41-9.

Epidemiologic studies suggest an inverse association of tea consumption with cardiovasculardisease. The antioxidant effects of flavonoids in tea (including preventing oxidative damage to LDL) are among the potential mechanisms that could underlie the protective effects. Other possible mechanisms include attenuating the inflammatory process in atherosclerosis, reducing thrombosis, promoting normal endothelial function, and blocking expression of...

Dec
2001
(-)-Epicatechin inhibits nitration and dimerization of tyrosine in hydrophilic as well as hydrophobic environments.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2001, 289 (5), 1334-8.

The flavanol (-)-epicatechin is known to protect against peroxynitrite-induced nitration and oxidation reactions. This study investigated the protection afforded by (-)-epicatechin against both these reaction types on one target molecule, the aminoacid tyrosine, in a hydrophilic milieu as well as with a lipophilic tyrosine derivative, N-t-BOC l-tyrosine tert-butyl ester (BTBE), bound to liposomes. The flavanol efficiently attenuated both...

Dec
2001
Polyphenols of cocoa: inhibition of mammalian 15-lipoxygenase.

Biol Chem 2001, 382 (12), 1687-96.

Some cocoas and chocolates are rich in (-)-epicatechin and its related oligomers, the procyanidins. Fractions of these compounds, isolated from the seeds of Theobroma cacao, caused dose-dependent inhibition of isolated rabbit 15-lipoxygenase-1 with the larger oligomers being more active; the decamer fraction revealed an IC50 of 0.8 microM. Among the monomeric flavanols, epigallocatechin gallate (IC50 = 4 microM) and epicatechin gallate (5 microM...

Nov
2001
Effects of cocoa powder and dark chocolate on LDL oxidative susceptibility and prostaglandin concentrations in humans.

Am J Clin Nutr 2001, 74 (5), 596-602.

BACKGROUND: Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds of plant origin with antioxidant effects. Flavonoids inhibitLDL oxidation and reduce thrombotic tendency in vitro. Little is known about how cocoa powder anddark chocolate, rich sources of polyphenols, affect these cardiovascular disease risk factors. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the effects of a diet high in cocoa powder and dark chocolate (CP-DC diet) on LDLoxidative susceptibility, serum total...

Jul
2001
Epicatechin selectively prevents nitration but not oxidation reactions of peroxynitrite.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2001, 285 (3), 782-7.

The flavanol (-)-epicatechin has been found to protect against damage inflicted by peroxynitrite, an inflammatory intermediate. Here, epicatechin was tested in systems of increasing complexity. The compound efficiently protected against nitration of protein tyrosine residues by peroxynitrite (IC(50) approximately 0.02 mol epicatechin/mol peroxynitrite). However, at epicatechin concentrations completely preventing nitration of tyrosine by...

Jan
2001
Chocolate procyanidins decrease the leukotriene-prostacyclin ratio in humans and human aortic endothelial cells.

Am J Clin Nutr 2001, 73 (1), 36-40.

BACKGROUND: Polyphenolic phytochemicals inhibit vascular and inflammatory processes that contribute to disease. These effects are hypothesized to result from polyphenol-mediated alterations in cellular eicosanoid synthesis. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to determine and compare the ability of cocoa procyanidins to alter eicosanoid synthesis in human subjects and cultured human aortic endothelial cells. DESIGN: After an overnight fast, 10...

Jan
2001
Inhibition of in Vitro low-density lipoprotein oxidation by oligomeric procyanidins present in chocolate and cocoas

Methods Enzymol 2001, 335, 350-60.

Introduction Flavonoids, including the procyanidins, are an integral part of the human diet, being found in a wide variety of plant foods, including vegetables, fruits, and their juices, herbs, wine, tea, and legumes. Intense research interest has focuesd on the potential role of flavonoids as physiologically active antioxidants, particularlrly with regard to cardiovascular disease. Dietary flavonoid intake has bee associated with a lower...

Oct
2000
Influence of oligomer chain length on the antioxidant activity of procyanidins.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2000, 276 (3), 945-51.

The antioxidant activity of catechin monomers and procyanidin (dimers to hexamers) fractions purified from cocoa was studied in two in vitro systems: liposomes and human LDL. Liposome oxidation (evaluated as formation of 2-thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) was initiated with 2,2'-azobis (2-amidinopropane) hydrochloride (AAPH), 2,2'-azobis (2,4-dimethylvaleronitrile) (AMVN), iron/ascorbate, or UV-C; LDL oxidation (evaluated as formation of...

Aug
2000
Cocoa and wine polyphenols modulate platelet activation and function.

J Nutr 2000, 130 (8S Suppl), 2120S-6S.

There is speculation that dietary polyphenols can provide cardioprotective effects due to direct antioxidant or antithrombotic mechanisms. We report in vitro and postingestion ex vivo effects ofcocoa procyanidins, a procyanidin-rich cocoa beverage and dealcoholized red wine (DRW) on humanplatelet activation. In a series of in vitro studies, cocoa procyanidin trimers, pentamers or DRW (3 and 10 micromol/L) were incubated with citrated peripheral...

Aug
2000
Effects of cocoa extracts on endothelium-dependent relaxation.

J Nutr 2000, 130 (8S Suppl), 2105S-8S.

The aim of this study was to examine the effects of procyanidins derived from cocoa on vascular smooth muscle. Two hypotheses were tested: 1) extracts of cocoa, which are rich in procyanidins, cause endothelium-dependent relaxation (EDR), and 2) extracts of cocoa activate endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS). The experiments were carried out on aortic rings obtained from New Zealand White rabbits. The polymeric procyanidins (tetramer through...

Aug
2000
A dose-response effect from chocolate consumption on plasma epicatechin and oxidative damage.

J Nutr 2000, 130 (8S Suppl), 2115S-9S.

Evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that a diet high in plant foods and rich in polyphenols is inversely associated with a risk for cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.Chocolate, like red wine and green tea, is a polyphenol-rich food, primarily containing procyanidin polyphenols. These polyphenols are hypothesized to provide cardioprotective effects due to their ability to scavenge free radicals and inhibit lipid oxidation....

Aug
2000
Epicatechin in human plasma: in vivo determination and effect of chocolate consumption on plasma oxidation status.

J Nutr 2000, 130 (8S Suppl), 2109S-14S.

Diets that are rich in plant foods have been associated with a decreased risk for specific disease processes and certain chronic diseases. In addition to essential macronutrients and micronutrients, the flavonoids in a variety of plant foods may have health-enhancing properties. Chocolate is a food that is known to be rich in the flavan-3-ol epicatechin and procyanidin oligomers. However, the bioavailability and the biological effects of the...

Aug
2000
Cocoa procyanidins and human cytokine transcription and secretion.

J Nutr 2000, 130 (8S Suppl), 2093S-9S.

We examined whether cocoa, in its isolated procyanidin fractions (monomer through decamer), would modulate cytokine production at the levels of transcription and protein secretion in both resting and phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). In resting cells, interleukin (IL)-1beta and IL-4 gene expression from cocoa-treated cells varied markedly among the subjects tested. However, at the protein level, the...

Jul
2000
Cocoa inhibits platelet activation and function.

Am J Clin Nutr 2000, 72 (1), 30-5.

BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic studies have shown inverse associations between dietary polyphenols and mortality from coronary heart disease. However, the basis for this protective association is uncertain. Food polyphenols reportedly have antioxidant properties and decrease platelet function in vitro. OBJECTIVE: This study sought to evaluate whether consumption of a polyphenol-rich cocoa beverage modulates human platelet activation and primary...

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