Obesity and Cardiovascular Risk Improvement Using Cacao By-Products in a Diet-Induced Obesity Murine Model.
J Med Food. 2019 Jun ;22(6):567-577. Epub 2019 Apr 25. PMID: 31021307
In the production of chocolate, only cocoa seeds are used, generating by-products that are generally discarded, increasing the risk of environmental contamination. Given fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, and flavonoid content the use of cacao pod husks can generate nutraceutical products for human consumption. In contrast, obesity represents a major public health problem worldwide. Cacao derivatives are able to modulate overweight and lipid disorders. The objective of present work was to prepare and characterize products using cacao by-products and analyze their effects on altered cardiometabolic risk markers in an obesity model induced by high fat diet and fructose ingestion in rats. The effects of a pellet and extracts made with outer pod husk and kernel husk for 5 weeks were analyzed in an obesity rat model. The treatments significantly decreased body weight by 39%, systolic blood pressure by 27%, triglycerides by 55%, total cholesterol by 24%, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 37%, and the triglycerides/high-density lipoprotein ratio by 54%. Cacao by-products improved the metabolic function of obese animals, without causing secondary effects.