As if there were not enough benefits to regularly ingesting a quality cocoa source, recent data suggests improvements in bodycomp. The good news is, this was a in-vivo randomized human study. The “bad news” is it was done with a very specific group of humans: Postmenopausal women. For some odd reason this lab is very focused on the effects of cocoa (via chocolate) on that specific population (sources posted below), but their findings may be applicable to other populations too.
I’d file this one under “more data needed” but as there’s a long list of potential benefits to ingesting quality cocoa – hence why it’s one of the key ingredients in my AlphaJoe recipe – it’s nice to know this may be yet another benefit.
Cocoa-rich chocolate and body composition in postmenopausal women: a randomised clinical trial.
Br J Nutr. 2020 Aug 4;1-9.
During menopause, women undergo a series of physiological changes that include a redistribution of fat tissue. This study was designed to investigate the effect of adding 10 g of cocoa-rich chocolate to the habitual diet of postmenopausal women daily on body composition. We conducted a 6-month, two-arm randomised, controlled trial. Postmenopausal women (57·2 (sd 3·6) years, n 132) were recruited in primary care clinics.
Participants in the control group (CG) did not receive any intervention. Those of the intervention group (IG) received 10 g daily of 99 % cocoa chocolate in addition to their habitual diet for 6 months. This quantity comprises 247 kJ (59 kcal) and 65·4 mg of polyphenols. The primary outcomes were the between-group differences in body composition variables, measured by impendancemetry at the end of the study. The main effect of the intervention showed a favourable reduction in the IG with respect to the CG in body fat mass (-0·63 kg (95 % CI -1·15, -0·11), P = 0·019; Cohen’s d = -0·450) and body fat percentage (-0·79 % (95 % CI -1·31, -0·26), P = 0·004; Cohen’s d = -0·539). A non-significant decrease was also observed in BMI (-0·20 kg/m2 (95 % CI -0·44, 0·03), P = 0·092; Cohen’s d = -0·345). Both the body fat mass and the body fat percentage showed a decrease in the IG for the three body segments analysed (trunk, arms and legs).
Daily addition of 10 g of cocoa-rich chocolate to the habitual diet of postmenopausal women reduces their body fat mass and body fat percentage without modifying their weight.
Addition Studies of interest:
Will Brink is the owner of the Brinkzone Blog. Will has over 30 years experience as a respected author, columnist and consultant, to the supplement, fitness, bodybuilding, and weight loss industry and has been extensively published. Will graduated from Harvard University with a concentration in the natural sciences, and is a consultant to major supplement, dairy, and pharmaceutical companies.
His often ground breaking articles can be found in publications such as Lets Live, Muscle Media 2000, MuscleMag International, The Life Extension Magazine, Muscle n Fitness, Inside Karate, Exercise For Men Only, Body International, Power, Oxygen, Penthouse, Women’s World and The Townsend Letter For Doctors.
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