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Cocoa Extracts Show Potential As Weight Management Ingredients

April 17, 2011: 08:49 AM EST
U.S. scientists have found that the polyphenols in cocoa extracts inhibit the action of enzymes essential for digesting carbohydrates and lipids. The findings suggest the possibility that cocoa may someday play a role in weight management products. The researchers tested the effect of three cocoa extracts on various enzymes, including pancreatic lipase, secreted phospholipase A2, and pancreatic alpha-amylase, all of which are important for digestion of fats and carbohydrates. The minimally processed levado cocoa extract, which is high in flavanols, exerted the most inhibitory effect on the enzymes, the researchers found, and is most likely due to their polyphenol content.
Y. Gu, et al., "Inhibition of Key Digestive Enzymes by Cocoa Extracts and Procyanidins", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, April 17, 2011, © American Chemical Society
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