Cocoa polyphenols, leg wellness & CELLULITE
Polyphenols from the cocoa bean (Theobroma cacao) have been widely researched for decades and have been found in numerous studies to fight free radical damage (antioxidant), protect collagen and boost circulation and thereby fight water retention and ageing. Cocoa polyphenols are therefore of great importance as active ingredient in anti-cellulite, leg wellness, skin firming and under-eye creams.
COCOA POLYPHENOL CELLULITE CREAMS, BY Celluence®
The cocoa polyphenols used for the Celluence® cellulite creams are of the highest quality and of >95% purity, i.e. they comprise more than 95% active molecule, in a patented, enhanced skin absorption form. We are extremely proud to feature high quality, highly purified cocoa polyphenols in our formulations, together with multiple other natural active ingredients, for maximum synergy and effectiveness. No other cellulite creams offer ALL the important anti-cellulite / leg wellness ingredients, in one package (learn how our creams differ from any other cellulite formulation.
Cocoa polyphenols: papers & articles
(Disclaimer: please note that the information and the research presented on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute efficacy claims for the Celluence® creams, neither does it constitute or aim to replace medical advice)
Cocoa, arterial health, anti-ageing and microcirculation
One of the most important and best researched health properties of cocoa / cacao is it's reduction of arterial stiffness. Arterial stiffness is an important risk factor of cardiovascular health disease.
In this new 12-week study on postmenopausal women published last month it was found that consuming a cocoa drink containing 40mg of flavanols per day, or 80mg every second day, significantly improved artery elasticity. The improvement was similar in both groups (daily and alternate day consumption).
Typical cocoa products found on supermarkets do contain the 40mg used for the study, while special high antioxidant cocoa products can contain more than 250mg per service, which do have even more pronounced results, not only in arterial stiffness improvement but also in micro-circulation, anti-ageing and connective tissue protection.
For all these reasons, high flavanol cocoa is also an important active in anti-ageing and quality leg wellness creams.
- Paper: Habitual cocoa intake reduces arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women regardless of intake frequency: a randomized parallel-group study.
- Abstract: Arterial stiffness is substantially higher in postmenopausal than in premenopausal women. Daily cocoa intake has been shown to reduce central arterial stiffness in health adults, regardless of age; however, the effect of cocoa-intake frequency on arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women remains unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of cocoa-intake frequency on arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women. A total of 26 postmenopausal women (mean age ± standard deviation 64±12 years) were randomly assigned to two groups with different cocoa-intake frequencies: one group ingested 17 g of cocoa once daily except on Sundays (every-day group, n=13), and the other ingested 17 g of cocoa twice daily every other day (every-other-day group, n=13). These intake regimens were maintained in both groups for 12 weeks. Carotid-femoral pulse-wave velocity and femoral-ankle pulse-wave velocity were measured in both groups at baseline and again at the end of the 12-week study period. Compared to baseline, both pulse-wave velocities had significantly decreased after the 12-week study period in both groups (P<0.05). However, no significant difference in degree of change was observed between the two groups. Although this study did not include a sedentary control group, these results suggest that regardless of frequency, habitual cocoa intake reduces central and peripheral arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women.
- Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27881914/
- Caffeine may have positive effects when used locally, as part of an anti- cellulite cream, and generally mixed or negative effects if taken orally, as a supplement or caffeinated drink, such as coffee, tea etc. We have analysed those effects of caffeine in detail on separate articles on this website.
- However, decaffeinated drinks, such as coffee and tea, and low-caffeine drinks, such as cocoa drinks, do have multiple beneficial effects against ageing and cellulite, without any of the potential side effects of caffeine. This is due to the high amount of polyphenols and other phytochemicals contained in those drinks, such as flavanols (coffee and cocoa), procyanidins (coffee), tannins (tea and coffee), chlorogenic acid (coffee) and catechins / epicatechins (cocoa and tea).
- Polyphenols act as anti-inflammatory, anti-glycation, anti-adipogenic / lipolytic, blood vessel / circulation supporting and skin firming agents. All these actions have a profound effect on both ageing and cellulite. Due to the absence of caffeine there is no limit to the consumption of these drinks (within reason, of course), so they can be used as effective anti-ageing / anti-cellulite drinks. I know of women who consume 15 cups of decaf green tea a day and their antioxidant levels,are really high without any side effects or other problems.
- Decaf green tea, decaf tea and decaf coffee all contain no caffeine and high amounts of polyphenols. Cocoa does contain some caffeine, so excessive consumption should be avoided. However, you can always buy high polyphenol cocoa (also known as high antioxidant) cocoa which will allow you to receive maximum polyphenols with minimum caffeine.
- I see no need to take green coffee, cocoa or green tea supplements, as you can take quite significant amounts of antioxidant naturally and at the same time enjoy the taste of those drinks several times a day. However, if you do hate tea, coffee or cocoa, that is an option you may wish to explore.
- However, please note that if you suffer from low blood pressure or similar vascular problems you must be careful in your use of cocoa, especially the high antioxidant variety, as it effectively reduces blood pressure and may lead to dizziness. Always consult a doctor if unsure about changes in your diet and taking supplements.
- Of course, existing cellulite will need more than healthy eating and exercise to be significantly reduced, but drinking high polyphenol decaffeinated drinks will definitely enhance the results of any treatment you receive or cream you use.
- Since we started using green coffee, cocoa and green tea extracts at our clinic for our anti-cellulite and anti-ageing treatments, results have significantly increased. Our creams also include multiple sources of polyphenols, in addition to high purity coffee, cocoa and tea extracts, for maximum results. And of course, we always recommend high polyphenol drinks and also foods (such as berries) to all our clients.
- Chocolate is addictive in so many different ways. It contains sugar, which feeds and helps focus the brain, gives you energy, offers a sense of satisfaction (dopamine release) and facilitates the passage of serotonin into the brain. Chocolate also contains fat (traditionally only cocoa butter, but lately all sorts of other fats and oils). Fat also offers a sense of satisfaction (dopamine release).
- Chocolate also contains PEA (phenylethylamine), the "love" molecule, which derives it's name from the chemical we produce when we are in love. Phenylethylamine is a mild amphetamine-like substance which gives us a gentle natural high.
- High amounts of theobromine, a diuretic and mild stimulant, and low amounts of caffeine, a strong stimulant, complete the euphoria-inducing chemical profile of chocolate.
- (Of course, cocoa also contains high amounts of polyphenols, especially epicatechins, which act as antioxidants, lower blood pressure and offer several other health-improving benefits.)
- With so many euphoria / satisfaction / stimulation inducing substances, it is not surprise that caffeine is so addictive. So what can you practically do about it? How can you get rid off the chocolate addiction and the fat, sugar and calories that come with it?
- Going cold turkey and never touching chocolate again is one option - albeit very drastic for most people.
- Having 70% dark chocolate (or even 85%), is one option, so that you can have the maximum antioxidants / phytochemicals contained in cocoa with the minimum of sugar / calories. However, this still leaves you with 30% sugar (or 15% sugar, in the case of 85% dark chocolate).
- (Of course, having chocolate desserts, such as chocolate biscuits, muffins, cake etc, is not the best thing you can do to your legs, with all the extra fat, sugar and starch contained in them and taking the place of cocoa antioxidants and phytochemicals.)
- Having a cocoa drink, with cocoa, stevia and whey protein, is supposed to be another healthy option, but it is not as healthy as it sounds. Both stevia and whey protein strongly stimulate the secretion of insulin, which is not the best thing you can do to your body. If you use rice protein instead of whey protein, you will somewhat reduce the insulin effect but the taste will be quite off - nothing to remind you of your beloved chocolate...
- Being a chocolate addict myself, I believe that the best thing you can do about chocolate is to enjoy it's taste - and benefit from all it's antioxidants - without suffering from the side effects of fat and sugar. Is this possible? Of course it is!
- How to enjoy chocolate - or any other dessert - without putting on fat or getting cellulite
- Fat tissue is quite often in a chronic state of low-grade inflammation, which is a risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, adipose tissue inflammation is one of the aspects of cellulite, which is related to glycation and oxidative damage, also found in cellulite.
- Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) is a polyphenol-rich food with well-known anti-inflammatory activities which can help fight fat tissue inflammation - and consequently cellulite.
- A new study has now found how cocoa fights adipose tissue inflammation caused by high fat diet: cocoa supplementation reduces the levels of several inflammation-related markers in fat tissue, including TNF-alpha, iNOS, arachidonic acid, adipose-specific phospholipase A2 and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and plasma endotoxin by up to 60%.
- This practically means that cocoa, especially high-polyphenol cocoa, can be safely and effectively used to fight inflammation in fat tissue and help reduce cellulite.
- Furthermore, high polyphenol cocoa extract may be used in anti-cellulite creams to help fight inflammation in cellulite. This is in addition to cocoa's well-known skin firming and circulation enhancing properties, which also help fight cellulite, offering a triple effect against cellulite.
- Dark chocolate, a food rich in cocoa polyphenols but also in sugar, is not an amazing anti-inflammatory food (sugar is known to promote inflammation), but it is still better than any other sugar-rich food. So practically, chocolate can not be used to fight fat tissue inflammation or cellulite, despite it's high cocoa content.
- Source: Dietary cocoa reduces metabolic endotoxemia and adipose tissue inflammation in high-fat fed mice, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/24561154