A little Cocoa goes a long way, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 622
Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.
A LITTLE COCOA GOES A LONG WAY, INVITE HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 622
Hosted by Amanda Williams, MD, MPH.
InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed health care professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that Invite Health has to offer at www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code podcast at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started.†[00:00:34]
Amanda Williams MD, MPH: [00:00:40] One of the most popular sweet treats that most people overindulge in is chocolate. Now, not all chocolate is created the same as we know, but we also have to understand some of the medicinal benefits that go along with chocolate. And is it the milk chocolate bar that maybe you can find at your local grocery store that is so supportive to your cardiovascular system into your brain and beyond? Most likely not. So let’s dive in to the power of cocoa flavanols today. I am scientific director Dr. Amanda Williams. And when it comes to cocoa or chocolate, we know that there are major distinctions that we must assess. Cocoa beans themselves coming from the cocoa tree. So you have cocoa beans, they are very rich in the cocoa flavanols. But when we look at chocolate, chocolate itself has been highly processed and the majority of those cocoa flavanols have lost their power along that way of the processing. So we have to recognize this and realize that while having a chocolate treat can be very helpful in some regards, it can also be very hurtful to the body. So you have to know what you’re working with if you’re going to be consuming chocolate. We want to have a chocolate that has a high percent of that cocoa, the cocoa flavanols. That’s why a 70% or greater, if you’re going to be eating chocolate, is what you want to be seeking. Now, what we have done is we have taken the guesswork right out of that for you by having the Cocoa Hx. The Cocoa Hx is basically taking that cocoa bean, extrapolating out all of those powerful flavanols, those catechins, and putting them into our cocoa hx formulation without going through all of those stages of process that allow for the loss of true medicinal benefit that can come from the cocoa itself. So we know that there’s been much research done that has clearly indicated the difference between, you know, cocoa versus chocolate. Chocolate is what most people think about when you’re eating a dessert or having a candy bar. That’s much different, as I mentioned, than having the actual cocoa flavanols You know, the flavanols, they really allow for the body to fight off free radicals and to help produce nitric oxide, which is why it’s so cardioprotective, because it allows those blood vessels to open up so you get optimal blood flow going through them. So knowing that not all cocoa or chocolate is created the same, if we are looking at the science of cocoa, not chocolate, but cocoa, we have to look at the amount of those cocoa flavanols that you’re actually getting to yield you those positive benefits. And we can go across multiple different research trials that have indicated that cocoa flavanols really can do so much when it comes to improving on so many aspects of our overall health.† [00:03:57]
[00:03:58] So there was a study done out of the Journal of Nutrition where they assessed the intake of cocoa flavanols when it came to biomarkers for cardiometabolic health. Now, this was a study that was conducted through Brown University in conjunction with Emory University as well as Harvard, and they were able to see how it was that those cocoa flavanols not milk chocolate, but those cocoa flavanols could actually improve people’s blood sugar by enhancing insulin sensitivity, had improvement on triglyceride levels, could see levels of C-reactive protein for systemic inflammation going down. And they concluded that the cocoa flavanols that you would find in Cocoa Hx, have this very favorable effect on all of these varieties of cardiometabolic markers. So the proof is in the pudding, right? And we, we can certainly see the vascular support that leads even into the brain. Very interesting stud, that was conducted over in the U.K. that showed how those cocoa flavanols could actually help with brain signaling and brain connectivity. They did this through doing a functional MRI. They took a group of healthy individuals, they scanned their brain for brain activity and then they gave them cocoa flavanols to drink, and then they scanned them again. And they were quite impressed by the amount of signal intensity that they were seeing on those functional MRI eyes, which is why we always go back to the fact that the cocoa flavanols is much different than having milk chocolate. If you were to have milk chocolate and you did that repeat functional MRI, you’re not going to see that intensity of positive signals going on in the brain after having a chocolate candy bar. So we know that the cocoa flavanols are doing all of these wonderful things in terms of fighting oxidative stress, targeting glycation in the body, really helping the body when it comes to better management of inflammation. And we can see this clearly through those different markers that are assessing for inflammation in the body, such as C-reactive protein. Being able to see those levels come down. And study after study continue to impress upon this, they’ve been able to show how the intake of cocoa flavanols such as in the Cocoa Hx can actually allow the body to better manage blood sugar and lead to a sense of prevention from type 2 diabetes.† [00:06:35]
[00:06:36] Brigham Young University did a study where they were looking just at how incorporating in cocoa flavanols lead to better glucose regulation, better insulin sensitivity and overall better pancreatic function. Yes, folks, we are talking cocoa because we know that at the end of the day, when we are looking for a supplement that packs a lot of punch to protect ourselves and we also want something that kind of leans in to our underlying cravings for something sweet. Using the Cocoa Hx, is going to hit all of those marks, and there’s so many ways that you can incorporate the Cocoa Hx into a daily routine that you yield all these positive benefits when it comes to blood pressure, regulation and even helping with joint function. So since we know that the cocoa can help to lower inflammation in the body and study after study have indicated this, it would make sense that we would say, yeah, maybe I should be having that Cocoa Hx into a daily routine. Now what’s really nice about our formulation is that not only do you get the power of those cocoa flavanols, this is also including these wonderful fruit and vegetable extracts that really help to even power up this formulation more so and so you drive up that antioxidant capacity to a even higher degree, which is why we now recognize that when it comes to the Cocoa Hx, it’s very much a complete systemic formulation. It’s helping to enhance our immune defenses because it works really lovely within the gut microbiome. So it can help even when we think about our mood because we’re going to improve upon that gut brain connection. So all of the multiple benefits that we know Cocoa can give us is highly impressive. They have actually done quite extensive studies on Cocoa’s impacts on human health. So they went through and they did a study design where they were looking at the influence of cocoa flavanols on diabetics, on pre diabetics, on those with hypertension, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, chronic kidney disease, dementia. And you could see across all of these different metrics the way that cocoa can kind of elevate the body’s natural antioxidant system. So by taking those cocoa flavanols, it helps to stabilize your natural antioxidants, things like superoxide dismutase and glutathione. And at the same time, we are yielding this really wonderful way to fight off any of those free radicals at the body is creating internally, but also that’s coming externally. So we look at these different disease states and we can recognize that high oxidative stress is kind of one of those waning or taxing loads that the cells within that system struggle with. So we can use the Cocoa Hx and the power of all of those antioxidants that are combined together. And it kind of enhances our diets ability to have more of that anti-inflammatory effect. Interesting study that was published in the Journal of Internal Medicine actually looked at that. They were looking at those who were adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet and they looked at their intake of those wonderful foods, those fruits and vegetables, but also with cocoa and the amount of cocoa flavanols that these individuals were taking in, in their diet on a regular basis. And they could see once again that direct correlation between lessening of inflammation.†[00:10:22]
[00:10:23] So when it comes to cognitive ability, we can see through functional MRI the power of that Cocoa Hx, when it comes to allowing better brain connectivity. But also when we look at the way that the cocoa flavanols help to kind of auto regulate our immune defenses and give us that cellular energy capacity to fight off all of those harmful free radicals and keep us healthy and well into the future. So definitely check out this formulation, Cocoa Hx. That is all that I have for you for today. I want to thank you so much for tuning in to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. Remember, you can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting, invitehealth.com/podcast. Do make sure that you subscribe and you leave us a review. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and we will see you next time for another episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast.† [00:10:23]