Impact of cocoa products intake on plasma and urine metabolites: a review of targeted and non-targeted studies in humans
Mayorga Gross, Ana Lucía
Esquivel Rodríguez, Patricia
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Cocoa is continuously drawing attention due to growing scientific evidence suggesting its effects on health. Flavanols and methylxanthines are some of the most important bioactive compounds present in cocoa. Other important bioactives, such as phenolic acids and lactones, are derived from microbial metabolism. The identification of the metabolites produced after cocoa intake is a first step to understand the overall effect on human health. In general, after cocoa intake, methylxanthines show high absorption and elimination efficiencies. Catechins are transformed mainly into sulfate and glucuronide conjugates. Metabolism of procyanidins is highly influenced by the polymerization degree, which hinders their absorption. The polymerization degree over three units leads to biotransformation by the colonic microbiota, resulting in valerolactones and phenolic acids, with higher excretion times. Long term intervention studies, as well as untargeted metabolomic approaches, are scarce. Contradictory results have been reported concerning matrix effects and health impact, and there are still scientific gaps that have to be addresed to understand the influence of cocoa intake on health. This review addresses different cocoa clinical studies, summarizes the different methodologies employed as well as the metabolites that have been identified in plasma and urine after cocoa intake.
External link to the item10.3390/nu11051163
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