Cocoa, cocoa powder and chocolate
Cocoa is one of the nutritional elements that is richest in polyphenols, principally those of the flavonoid group, especially the flavan-3-oles group (catechins, epicatechins and their oligomers the procanidines), although flavonols such as quercetin and its glucosides and antocians can also be found.
Recently it has been demonstrated that cocoa flavonoids and their derivatives present a great variety of benefits in the prevention of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases:
- Protective antioxidant action against free radicals and other degenerative species, therefore preventing LDL oxidation.
- Modulation of vascular homeostasis, inhibiting the platelet aggregation.
The most popular way of consuming cocoa is as chocolate or as other types of related products which contain cocoa. Nevertheless, in many countries one of the main sources of cocoa is the so-called cocoa soluble, a cocoa product which dissolves in milk or water and is used as a breakfast beverage. The Spanish population is the biggest consumer of cocao solubles in the world, 1.7 kg/person/year. Other countries such as Norway, Sweden, France, Brazil, Austria and Australia also have a high consumption index.
The beneficial effects of polyphenols would depend on the quantity of consumption, bioavailability and the biological activity of the conjugates formed during the metabolism and excretion. This is why in this project we are researching the types of metabolites formed and their concentration in blood and urine in healthy volunteers after the consumption of a mixture of cocoa containing 40 g of cocoa solubles. At the same time, we are investigating whether milk influences the absorption and/or excretion of these metabolites, and the antioxidant capacity of the different excreted metabolites.
- Vázquez-Agell M, Urpi-Sarda M, Sacanella E, Camino-López S, Chiva-Blanch G, Llorente-Cortés V, Tobias E, Roura E, Andres-Lacueva C, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Badimon L, Estruch R. Cocoa consumption reduces NF-κB activation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in humans. Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases [in press]. PubMed
- Khan N, Monagas M, Andrés-Lacueva C, Casas R, Urpí-Sardà M, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Estruch R. Regular consumption of cocoa powder with milk increases HDL cholesterol and reduces oxidized LDL levels in subjects at high-risk of cardiovascular disease. Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases [in press]. PubMed
- Khan N, Monagas M, Llorach R, Urpí-Sardà M, Rabassa M, Estruch R, Andrés-Lacueva C. Targeted and metabolomic study of biomarkers of cocoa powder consumption: effects on inlammatory biomarkers in patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech. 2010;21(3):54-57.
- Urpi-Sarda M, Ramiro-Puig E, Khan N, Ramos-Romero S, Llorach R, Castell M, Gonzalez-Manzano S, Santos-Buelga C, Andres-Lacueva C. Distribution of epicatechin metabolites in lymphoid tissues and testes of young rats with a cocoa-enriched diet. British Journal of Nutrition. 2010;103(10):1393-1397. PubMed
- Urpi-Sarda M, Llorach R, Khan N, Monagas M, Rotches-Ribalta M, Lamuela-Raventos R, Estruch R, Tinahones FJ, Andres-Lacueva C. Effect of milk on the urinary excretion of microbial phenolic acids after cocoa powder consumption in humans. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2010;58(8):4706-4711. PubMed
- Llorach-Asunción R, Jauregui O, Urpi-Sarda M, Andres-Lacueva C. Methodological aspects for metabolome visualization and characterization. A metabolomic evaluation of the 24-hour evolution of human urine after cocoa powder consumption. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2010;51(2):373-381. PubMed
- Llorach R, Urpi-Sarda M, Jauregui O, Monagas M, Andres-Lacueva C. An LC-MS-based metabolomics approach for exploring urinary metabolome modifications after cocoa consumption. Journal of Proteome Research. 2009;8(11):5060-5068. PubMed
- Urpi-Sarda M, Monagas M, Khan N, Llorach R, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Jáuregui O, Estruch R, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Andrés-Lacueva C. Targeted metabolic profiling of phenolics in urine and plasma after regular consumption of cocoa by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography A. 2009;1216(43):7258-7267. PubMed
- Monagas M, Khan N, Andres-Lacueva C, Casas R, Urpí-Sardà M, Llorach R, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Estruch R. Effect of cocoa powder on the modulation of inflammatory biomarkers in patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009;90(5):1144-1150. PubMed
- Urpi-Sarda M, Monagas M, Khan N, Lamuela-Raventos RM, Santos-Buelga C, Sacanella E, Castell M, Permanyer J, Andres-Lacueva C. Epicatechin, procyanidins, and phenolic microbial metabolites after cocoa intake in humans and rats. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 2009;394(6):1545-1556. PubMed
- Roura E, Andrés-Lacueva C, Estruch R, Mata-Bilbao ML, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Lamuela-Raventós RM. The effects of milk as a food matrix for polyphenols on the excretion profile of cocoa (-)-epicatechin metabolites in healthy human subjects. British Journal of Nutrition. 2008;100(4):846-851. PubMed
- Andres-Lacueva C, Monagas M, Khan N, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Urpi-Sarda M, Permanyer J, Lamuela-Raventós RM. Flavanol and flavonol contents of cocoa powder products: influence of the manufacturing process. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2008;56(9):3111-3117.PubMed
- Roura E, Andrés-Lacueva C, Estruch R, Mata-Bilbao ML, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Waterhouse AL, Lamuela-Raventós RM. Milk does not affect the bioavailability of cocoa powder flavonoid in healthy human. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism. 2007;51(6):493-498. PubMed
- Roura E, Almajano MP, Bilbao ML, Andrés-Lacueva C, Estruch R, Lamuela-Raventós RM. Human urine: epicatechin metabolites and antioxidant activity after cocoa beverage intake. Free Radical Research. 2007;41(8):943-949. PubMed
- Ramiro-Puig E, Urpí-Sardà M, Pérez-Cano FJ, Franch A, Castellote C, Andrés-Lacueva C, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Castell M. Cocoa-enriched diet enhances antioxidant enzyme activity and modulates lymphocyte composition in thymus from young rats. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2007;55(16):6431-6438. PubMed
- Lamuela-Raventós RM, Romero-Pérez AI, Andrés-Lacueva C, Tornero, A. Health Effects of Cocoa Flavonoids. Food Science and Technology International. 2005:11(3):159-176. Abstract
- Roura E, Andrés-Lacueva C, Jáuregui O, Badia E, Estruch R, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Lamuela-Raventós RM. Rapid liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry assay to quantify plasma (-)-epicatechin metabolites after ingestion of a standard portion of cocoa beverage in humans. J Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2005;53(16):6190-6194. PubMed
- Ramiro E, Franch A, Castellote C, Andrés-Lacueva C, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Castell M. Effect of Theobroma cacao flavonoids on immune activation of a lymphoid cell line. British Journal of Nutrition. 2005;93(6):859-866. PubMed
- Roura E, Andrés-Lacueva C, Jáuregui O, Badia E, Estruch R, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Lamuela-Raventós RM. Rapid liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry assay to quantify plasma (-)-epicatechin metabolites after ingestion of a standard portion of cocoa beverage in humans. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2005; 53(16):6190-6194. PubMed
- Sánchez-Rabaneda F, Jáuregui O, Casals I, Andrés-Lacueva C, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Lamuela-Raventós RM. Liquid chromatographic/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometric study of the phenolic composition of cocoa (Theobroma cacao). Journal of Mass Spectrometry. 2003;38(1):35-42. PubMed
- Lamuela-Raventós RM, Andrés-Lacueva C, Permanyer J, Izquierdo-Pulido M. More antioxidants in cocoa. Journal of Nutrition. 2001;131(3):834-835. PubMed
- Andres-Lacueva C, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Jauregui O, Casals I, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Permanyer J. An LC method for the analysis of cocoa phenolics. LC GC Europe. 2000;902-4.