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Kick aside fear of diabetes, now chocolate itself will help combat the disease

Beta cells work better and remain stronger with an increased presence of epicatechin monomers, compounds found naturally in cocoa.

Edited by: India TV Lifestyle Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: August 28, 2017 12:23 IST ]
Chocolates, insulin, india tv
Chocolates

Hurray! It's merry time for chocolate lovers as we are going to give you a solid reason to have more of your favourite chocolates. According to a research certain compounds in cocoa which is a key ingredient of chocolates acts as a control measure to diabetes. It helps the body to release more insulin and respond to increased blood glucose better.

Body of a diabetic person either does not produce enough insulin or does not process blood sugar properly. At the root of that is the failure of beta cells, whose job it is to produce insulin.The new study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, finds beta cells work better and remain stronger with an increased presence of epicatechin monomers, compounds found naturally in cocoa.

However, rather than stocking up on the sugar-rich chocolate bars, researchers believe that they need to look for ways to take the compound out of cocoa, make more of it and then use it as a potential treatment for current diabetes patients."You probably have to eat a lot of cocoa, and you probably dont want it to have a lot of sugar in it. Its the compound in cocoa youre after," said Jeffery Tessem, assistant professor at Brigham Young University in the US.

Researchers fed the cocoa compound to animals on a high- fat diet. They found that by adding it to the high-fat diet, the compound would decrease the level of obesity in the animals and would increase their ability to deal with increased blood glucose levels.The team then dove in and dissected what was happening on the cellular level - specifically, the beta cell level. They found that cocoa compounds named epicatechin monomers enhanced beta cells ability to secrete insulin.

"What happens is its protecting the cells, its increasing their ability to deal with oxidative stress," Tessem said. "The epicatechin monomers are making the mitochondria in the beta cells stronger, which produces more ATP (a cells energy source), which then results in more insulin being released," he said. "These results will help us get closer to using these compounds more effectively in foods or supplements to maintain normal blood glucose control and potentially even delay or prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes," said Andrew Neilson, assistant professor at Virginia Tech in the US. 

Ample of research activities have been conducted on similar compounds over the past decade but it has been difficult to identify the most beneficial ones. The current research shows the epicatechin monomers, the smallest of the compounds, are the most effective.

(With ANI inputs)

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