Published on February 7th, 2012 | by No Artificial3
Cocoa Reduces Risk of Colon Cancer
For many years cocoa-rich dark chocolate has been known not only for its good flavor but also for its potential health benefits.
According to a newest study published in the Molecular Nutrition & Food Research journal, the regular consumption of cocoa may help reduce the risk of development of bowel cancer.
Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide and hopefully, this breakthrough will lower the number of it’s victims.
Researchers, at the Institute of Food Science and Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN) in Spain, claim that cacao consumption helps reduces oxidative stress that can cause cell abnormalities and cancer. María Ángeles Martín Arribas, lead author of the study and researcher, has said that “foods like cocoa, which is rich in polyphenols, seems to play an important role in protecting against disease.”
The study was done on living animals. Two groups of rats were used – rats and mice exhibit a similar line of carcinogenesis that is comparable to humans. For about 8 weeks one group was fed with a cocoa-rich (12%) diet and the second one was not. Then both groups of animals were exposed to a chemical compound azoxymethane (AOM) known to induce the bowel cancer. The results of the study showed that the rats fed with cocoa had reduced number of pre-cancerous change in cells and tissues compared to the second group of rats. The team concluded that the protective effect of the bioactive compounds (flavonoids) in cocoa stopped cell-signaling pathways that typically lead to tumor development.
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Volume 55, Issue 12, pages 1895–1899, December 2011 “Cocoa-rich diet prevents azoxymethane-induced colonic preneoplastic lesions in rats by restraining oxidative stress and cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis”.