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Weight Loss Ingredient Identified in Chocolate — Dave’s Diary

At last we have some weight loss info we can really sink our teeth into! Researchers have identified the specific ingredient in chocolate that may be most responsible for its newly recognized weight-loss and anti-diabetes benefits. That’s right! In c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e !  The announcement was made recently in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,

Scientists have known for some time that cocoa leads the pack when it comes to flavanol-rich foods, with the potential to boost heart health, lower blood sugar and decrease body fat. What they haven’t known is which flavanols are responsible for which health benefits.

In this study, researchers at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute set out to test several groups of cocoa compounds to see which were most effective for preventing weight gain and obesity. The winners: a group of compounds called oligomeric procyanidins (PCs). The researchers also found that oligomeric PCs or OPCs helped regulate blood glucose levels, suggesting the compounds might prove useful in treating diabetes.

Flavanols are big news these days — researchers think flavanols found in strawberries and other fruits and vegetables may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and age-related memory loss.


Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Let’s be honest—we’ve heard about the health benefits of dark chocolate before — in the past few years, studies have demonstrated that eating a small quantity of dark chocolate regularly can improve heart health, boost brain function, and even help prevent cancer. But this is the first time scientists have identified this specific group of compounds, oligomeric PCs, as being the most actively beneficial for weight loss.




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