Acta Scientific Nutritional Health (ASNH)(ISSN: 2582-1423)

Review Article Volume 7 Issue 3

Cocoa and Hepatic Health

Nidhi Kaku

Clinical Nutritionist, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Mumbai, India

*Corresponding Author: Nidhi Kaku, Clinical Nutritionist, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Mumbai, India.

Received: February 06, 2023; Published: February 20, 2023


Cocoa, in the form of chocolate is one of the most known and universally relished product. Cocoa is a rich source of phenolic compounds, especially flavanols. The consumption of cocoa flavonoids has multiple health benefits by contributing to preventing or decreasing the risk of chronic diseases like certain forms of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, immune conditions, neurological conditions, diabetes, obesity and ageing etc. This review is designed based on the recent researches, highlighting the potential health benefits of cocoa flavanols related to the different liver conditions along with the molecular mechanisms involved. This paper reflects the antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, lipolytic and genetic-modulating properties of cocoa at the hepatic level. Cocoa, thus, has been linked to improving the hepatic health.

Keywords: Cocoa; Cocoa Flavanols; Hepatic Health; Dark Chocolate


  1. Martín MA and Ramos S. “Health beneficial effects of cocoa phenolic compounds: a mini review”. Current Opinion in Food Science (2017).
  2. Martín MA and Ramos S. “Impact of cocoa flavanols on human health”. Food and Chemical Toxicology 151 (2021): 112121.
  3. Lamuela-Raventós RM., et al. “Health effects of cocoa flavonoids”. Food Science and Technology International 11 (2005): 159-176.
  4. Maskarinec G. “Cancer protective properties of cocoa (2009). A review of the epidemiologic evidence”. Nutrition and Cancer 61 (2009): 573-579.
  5. Farhat G., et al. “Dark chocolate: an obesity paradox or a culprit for weight gain?” Phytotherapy Research 28 (2014): 791-797.
  6. Ramos S. “Cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy: dietary polyphenols and signalling pathways”. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 52 (2008): 507-526.
  7. Scholey A and Owen L. “Effects of chocolate on cognitive function and mood: A systematic review”. Nutrition Reviews 71 (2013): 665- 681.
  8. Corti R., et al. “Cocoa and cardiovascular health”. Circulation 119 (2009): 1433-1442.
  9. Martín MA., et al. “Antidiabetic actions of cocoa flavanols”. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 60 (2016): 1756-1769.
  10. Cordero-Herrera I., et al. “Cocoa and cocoa flavanol epicatechin improve hepatic lipid metabolism in in vivo and in vitro Role of PKCζ”. Journal of Functional Foods (2015): 761-773.
  11. Ali F., et al. “Transcriptomics expression analysis to unveil the molecular mechanisms underlying the cocoa polyphenol treatment in diet-induced obesity rats”. Genomics 105 (2015): 23-30.
  12. Ali F., et al. “Molecular mechanisms underlying the potential antiobesity-related diseases effect of cocoa polyphenols”. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 58 (2014): 33-48.
  13. In this recent review are provided evidences about the molecular mechanisms of cocoa polyphenols on obesity-associated diseases such as CVD and diabetes that could potentially contribute to explain the beneficial effect of this food (2014).
  14. Matsui N., et al. “Ingested cocoa can prevent high-fat dietinduced obesity by regulating the expression of genes for fatty acid metabolism”. Nutrition and Cancer 21 (2005): 594-601.
  15. Jobgen WJ., et al. “Regulatory role for the arginine-nitric oxide pathway in metabolism of energy substrates”. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 17 (2006): 571- 588.
  16. Andrés-Lacueva C., et al. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56 (2018): 893 3111-3117.
  17. Martín MA and Ramos S. “Cocoa polyphenols in oxidative stress: potential health implications”. Journal of Functional Foods (2016).
  18. Cordero-Herrera I., et al. “Cocoa intake ameliorates hepatic oxidative stress in young Zucker diabetic fatty rats”. Food Research International 69 (2015): 194201.
  19. Cordero-Herrera I., et al. “Cocoa rich diet ameliorates hepatic insulin resistance by modulating insulin signaling and glucose homeostasis in Zucker diabetic fatty rats”. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 26 (2015): 704-712.
  20. Cordero-Herrera I., et al. “Cocoa and cocoa flavanol epicatechin improve hepatic lipid metabolism in in vivo and in vitro Role of PKCζ”. Journal of Functional Foods (2015): 761-773.
  21. Sun M., et al. “Dietary cocoa ameliorates nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and increases markers of antioxidant response and mitochondrial biogenesis in high fat-fed mice”. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 92 (2021): 108618.
  22. Gu Y., et al. “Dietary cocoa ameliorates obesity-related inflammation in high fat fed mice”. European Journal of Nutrition 53 (2014): 149-158
  23. Janevski M., et al. “The effect of cocoa supplementation on hepatic steatosis, reactive oxygen species and LFABP in a rat model of NASH”. Comparative Hepatology 10 (2011): 10.
  24. Loffredo L., et al. “Effects of dark chocolate on NOX-2-generated oxidative stress in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis”. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 44 (2016): 279-286.
  25. Kong X., et al. “Sirtuin 3, a new target of PGC496 1alpha, plays an important role in the suppression of ROS and mitochondrial biogenesis”. 497 PloS One 5 (2010): e11707.
  26. Fraga CG. “Plant polyphenols: how to translate their in vitro antioxidant actions to in vivo conditions”. IUBMB Life 59 (2007): 308-315.
  27. Hollman PCH., et al. “The biological relevance of direct antioxidant effects of polyphenols for cardiovascular health in humans is not established”. Journal of Nutrition 141 (2011): 989S1009S.
  28. Giacometti J., et al. “Cocoa polyphenols exhibit antioxidant, antiinflammatory, anticancerogenic, and antinecrotic activity in carbon tetrachlorideintoxicated mice”. Journal of Functional Foods 23 (2016): 177-187.
  29. Granado-Serrano A., et al. “Time course regulation of survival pathways by epicatechin on HepG2 cells”. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 20 (2009): 115-124.
  30. Sinha M., et al. “Epicatechin ameliorates ionising radiation-induced oxidative stress in mouse liver”. Free Radical Research 46 (2012): 842-849.
  31. Yang BY., et al. “Protective effect of procyanidin B2 against CCl4-induced acute liver injury in mice”. Molecules 20 (2015): 1225012265.
  32. Catrysse L and Van Loo G. “Inflammation and the Metabolic Syndrome: The Tissue-Specific Functions of NF-κB. Trends”. Cell Biology 27 (2017): 417-429.
  33. Rabadan-Chávez G., et al. “Cocoa powder, cocoa extract and epicatechin attenuate hypercaloric diet-induced obesity through enhanced β-oxidation and energy expenditure in white adipose tissue”. Journal of Functional Foods 20 (2015): 54-67.
  34. Natsume M., et al. “Cacao procyanidins reduce plasma cholesterol and increase fecal steroid excretion in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet”. BioFactors 33 (2009): 211-223.
  35. Ramos S. “Cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy: dietary polyphenols and signalling pathways”. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 52 (2008): 507-526.
  36. Oleaga C., et al. “CYP1A1 is overexpressed upon incubation of breast cancer cells with a polyphenolic cocoa extract”. European Journal of Nutrition 51 (2012): 465-476.
  37. Carnésecchi S., et al. “Flavanols and procyanidins of cocoa and chocolate inhibit growth and polyamine biosynthesis of human colonic cancer cells”. Cancer Letter 175 (2002): 147-155.
  38. Granado-Serrano AB., et al. “A diet rich in cocoa attenuates N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced liver injury in rats”. Food and Chemical Toxicology 47 (2009): 2499-2506.
  39. Rodriguez-Ramiro I., et al. “Cocoa-rich diet prevents azoxymethane-induced colonic preneoplastic lesions in rats by restraining oxidative stress and cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis”. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 55 (2011): 18951899.
  40. Kim JE., et al. “Cocoa polyphenols suppress TNF-a-induced vascular endothelial growth factor expression by inhibiting phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase-1 (MEK1) activities in mouse epidermal cells”. British Journal of Nutrition 104 (2010): 957-964.
  41. Sakano K., et al. “Procyanidin B2 has anti- and pro-oxidant effects on metal-mediated DNA damage”. Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine 39 (2005): 1041-1049.
  42. Papiez MA., et al. “(-)-Epicatechin enhances etoposide-induced antileukaemic effect in rats with acute myeloid leukaemia”. Anticancer Research 32 (2012): 2905-2914.


Citation: Nidhi Kaku. “Cocoa and Hepatic Health".Acta Scientific Nutritional Health 7.3 (2023): 52-56.


Copyright: © 2023 Nidhi Kaku This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Acceptance rate30%
Acceptance to publication20-30 days
Impact Factor1.316

Indexed In

News and Events

  • Certification for Review
    Acta Scientific certifies the Editors/reviewers for their review done towards the assigned articles of the respective journals.
  • Submission Timeline for Upcoming Issue
    The last date for submission of articles for regular Issues is July 10, 2024.
  • Publication Certificate
    Authors will be issued a "Publication Certificate" as a mark of appreciation for publishing their work.
  • Best Article of the Issue
    The Editors will elect one Best Article after each issue release. The authors of this article will be provided with a certificate of "Best Article of the Issue"
  • Welcoming Article Submission
    Acta Scientific delightfully welcomes active researchers for submission of articles towards the upcoming issue of respective journals.

Contact US