Native Americans have consumed beverages made from the Theobroma cacao tree for millennia. Ancient healers used the fruit of this tree to treat health problems. According to a 2011 review in the “Chemistry Central Journal,” cacao is a “super fruit” producing large antioxidant effects and having a high nutrient content. Modern researchers have gradually documented the alleged benefits of Theobroma extracts. Cacao may cause allergic reactions, so speak with a doctor before ingesting this fruit.
One in three Americans has high blood pressure, according to a 2011 survey in “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.” Surgery and drugs may correct this problem, but such treatments can have side effects. Natural products like cacao extracts may eventually replace these conventional approaches. A clinical trial presented in the 2010 volume of the “British Journal of Nutrition” looked at the impact of cacao on blood pressure in healthy adults. Participants received two different doses of cacao-containing dark chocolate. Relative to baseline, both treatments similarly lowered diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Researchers observed an identical response in obese and normal individuals. The subjects did not experience adverse events, but the long-term effects of cacao remain unknown.http://www.ebiochem.com/
Fights Experimental Cancer
At least 20 percent of American men over 80 have prostate cancer, according to a 2011 analysis in “Prostate.” The incidence of this cancer continues to increase in some populations. Changes in exercise and diet can help reverse these trends, and ingesting more cacao may support these changes. An experiment described in the 2008 edition of the “European Journal of Cancer Prevention” assessed the effect of cacao in an rodent model of prostate cancer. For nine months, control animals received drugs known to cause cancer. Treated animals received these drugs and cacao powder. Rats given cacao extracts had fewer prostate tumors and lived longer than those given no treatment. In fact, many cacao-treated animals did not develop any tumors.
Diabetes affects over 20 million Americans, according to a 2010 review in the “American Journal of Managed Care.” The large prevalence of this disorder places a burden on our health care system. Doctors emphasize the prevention of diabetes, but management remains important as well. Cacao contains substances that might help you manage diabetic symptoms. An investigation offered in the 2007 volume of “Nutrition” tested the effect of proanthocyanidins on experimental diabetes. This over-the-counter supplement is from cacao extracts. Overweight and diabetic rats received proanthocyanidins or saline for three weeks. Rats given the extract had lower blood sugar by the end of the study. The extract did not affect appetite or weight, and it did not cause toxicity.
Mood disorders such as depression appear in 20 percent of Americans, according to a 2011 survey in the “Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.” Chronic use of antidepressant drugs shortens your life expectancy. Dietary aids like cacao might eliminate these medications in the future. A 2008 report in “Nutritional Neuroscience” looked at the ability of cacao to improve mental health. The authors tested animals using a forced swimming protocol. This procedure causes symptoms of depression. Rodents received a cacao extract or an inert treatment during a single session. Rats given cacao showed less despair and greater “fight” than those given no treatment. Human patients taking cacao also gain energy, and they rarely experience side effects.