Cocoa flavanols and your skin
Antioxidant protection, microcirculation, collagen production, 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 flavanol creams
For all these reasons, cocoa polyphenols / flavanols are of great importance as an active ingredient in anti-cellulite, leg wellness, skin firming and under-eye creams [the Celluence® cellulite creams are the only creams in the world to contain 95% pure, high quality cocoa flavanols in a patented, enhanced skin absorption form, plus another 39 natural anti-cellulite actives].
Cocoa flavanols: (some of) The science
Cocoa flavanols protect skin from UV radiation, equal to SPF 2...
...after just 12 weeks of consumption of a small portion of high flavanol chocolate. Low flavanol chocolate does not have this effect (Source: Eating chocolate can significantly protect the skin from UV light)
Cocoa flavanols help improve endothelial and metabolic function,
...inflammation, oxidative damage, blood pressure, atherogenesis and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. Cocoa polyphenols comprise mainly catechins (29%–38% of total polyphenols), anthocyanins (4% of total polyphenols) and proanthocyanidins (58%–65% of total polyphenols). (Source: The Cardiovascular Effects of Cocoa Polyphenols—An Overview)
Cocoa polyphenols fight inflammation by switching macrophages...
...from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory function, thereby "significantly lowering the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines" (macrophages function as control switches of the immune system, maintaining the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory activities) (Source: Effect of Cocoa Polyphenolic Extract on Macrophage Polarization from Proinflammatory M1 to Anti-Inflammatory M2 State)
Cocoa fights adipose tissue inflammation...
...by reducing 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% (Source: Dietary cocoa reduces metabolic endotoxemia and adipose tissue inflammation in high-fat fed mice)
Theobromine from cocoa inhibits fat accumulation and adipogenesis...
...(adipocyte differentiation) by suppressing the C/EBP beta protein and via blocking the adenosine receptor A1, new study shows (Source: Theobromine suppresses adipogenesis through enhancement of CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein β degradation by adenosine receptor A1)
17g of cocoa/40mg of cocoa flavanols a day significantly improves arterial elasticity in just 12 weeks...
...in post-menopausal women. After 12 weeks of use both carotid-femoral pulse-wave velocity (PWV) and femoral-ankle pulse-wave velocity had significantly decreased compared to the beginning of the study. Context: One of the most important health benefits of cocoa / cacao is its reduction of arterial stiffness, an important risk factor of cardiovascular health disease. Arterial stiffness is substantially higher in postmenopausal than in premenopausal women. Daily cocoa intake has been shown to reduce central arterial stiffness in healthy adults, regardless of age. This study shows that even in post-menopausal women arterial stiffness is reduced, simply by consuming some cocoa. (Source: Habitual cocoa intake reduces arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women regardless of intake frequency: a randomized parallel-group study)
Epicatechin downregulates adipose tissue CCL19 expression and thereby ameliorates diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance
Abstract: BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Epicatechin (EC) intake has been suggested to be beneficial for the prevention of cardiovascular disorders, and it is well known that adipose tissue inflammation is one of the major risk factors for coronary heart diseases. The purpose of the present study was to determine the in vitro and in vivo effects of EC on adipose tissue inflammation and obesity. METHODS AND RESULTS: DNA microarray analysis was performed to evaluate the effects of EC on gene expression in adipocytes co-cultured with bacterial endotoxin-stimulated macrophages. To determine the in vivo effects of the catechin, C57BL/6 mice were fed either a high-fat diet (HFD) or HFD combined with EC, and metabolic changes were observed EC suppressed the expression of many inflammatory genes in the adipocytes co-cultured with endotoxin-stimulated macrophages. Specifically, EC markedly suppressed chemokine (CC motif) ligand 19 (CCL19) expression. The target cell of EC appeared to macrophages. The in vivo study indicated that mice fed the EC-supplemented HFD were protected from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. Accordingly, the expression levels of genes associated with inflammation in adipose tissue and in the liver were downregulated in this group of mice. CONCLUSIONS: EC exerts beneficial effects for the prevention of adipose tissue inflammation and insulin resistance. Since we previously reported that mice deficient in the CCL19 receptor were protected from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance, it can be concluded that the beneficial effects of EC could be mediated, at least in part, by marked suppression of CCL19 expression.