For all those of you (whether diabetic, pre-diabetic or nondiabetic) who are afraid of consuming chocolate, rejoice!
It turns out that this tasty food could prevent diabetes, at least according to new research conducted on the subject. How so?
To put it in scientific terms, a compound naturally contained in chocolate, called epicatechin monomers, can naturally enhance the secretion of insulin from certain cells.
The same study which had discovered this interesting fact, also discovered that the same compound could also decrease obesity and increase the ability of the animal test subjects to cope with high blood sugar levels.
And even though this research was conducted only on animals, scientists claim us humans can also benefit from chocolate if we consume large enough qualities of it.
But remember, it’s the cocoa you’re after, not the sugar-filled milky chocolates you can find at every corner. So the main agenda here is eating a lot of cocoa which contains this valuable compound.
What the researchers of this study did was build on previous research by Virginia Tech. They fed this cocoa-found compound, epicatechin monomers, to animals which were on a diet high in fats.
The results were astounding: not only did it help them manage their blood glucose levels but it also reduced their obesity.
When BYU’s researchers had assessed why this happened, they discovered that this is due to the ability of epicatechin monomers to increase the insulin-secreting ability of the beta cells.
According to Prof. Tessem, this is because it is protecting these cells, through increasing the cells’ ability of dealing with any oxidative stress.
He went on to explain that the epicatechin monomers also serve to strengthen the beta cells’ mitochondria. Which, in turn, leads to an increase in the production of ATP (which is represents a cell’s energy source). All this results in the increased release of insulin.
But like we previously mentioned, Prof. Tessem stated that one would need to consume fairly large amounts of this cocoa, without the excess sugar content, of course.
Prof. Andrew Neilson added that such results are sure to help them get closer to learning how to properly use such compounds for better effectiveness.
This, by consuming supplements and foods which contain such a compound which will help everyone manage their blood glucose levels more effectively. It even shows promise for preventing (or at least delaying) the onset of type II diabetes.
The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry published these findings.