Compounds in Cocoa May Help Delay and treat Type 2 Diabetes


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What if eating chocolate helped prevent and treat diabetes?

Researchers at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah have discovered certain compounds found in cocoa can actually help your body release more insulin and respond to increased blood glucose better. Insulin is the hormone that manages glucose, the blood sugar that reaches unhealthy levels in diabetes. The study was published August 28th 2017 in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

A release from the university quotes study author Jeffery Tessem, assistant professor of nutrition, dietetics and food science at BYU, as saying, “You probably have to eat a lot of cocoa, and you probably don’t want it to have a lot of sugar in it. It’s a compound in cocoa you’re after.”

The release explains that when a person has diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t process blood sugar properly. At the root of that is the failure of beta cells, whose job it is to produce insulin. The BYU team found that beta cells work better and remain stronger with an increased presence of epicatechin monomers, compounds found naturally in cocoa.

This research was funded, in part, thanks to grants from the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation and the American Diabetes Association.