The American Diabetes Association reports that 9.4% of the population or 30.3 million Americans had diabetes in 2015. The number of people with diabetes increased by 382% in a period between 1988 and 2014.
One’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases* with age. Numerous factors can increase* your odds of developing this lifelong condition. That being said, there are many ways to prevent it or delay the progression and according to the latest study, eating dark chocolate is one way to go.
Cocoa And Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas to allow the body to use glucose (blood sugar) from carbohydrates in the food or to store glucose for future use.
Insulin has the unique purpose to ensure that levels of blood sugar never get too high to cause damage to blood vessels and organs, or too low to impair the body function.
In persons with diabetes, the body either produces* an insufficient amount of insulin or it doesn’t process blood sugar adequately.
It all comes down to beta cells whose primary function is to produce* insulin. These beta cells operate better* and stay stronger* with a higher presence of compounds found in cocoa called epicatechin monomers, the study finds.
How Cocoa Compounds Works?
The research team fed the cocoa compound to mice on a high-fat diet. Adding the cocoa compound to a high-fat diet can decrease* the level of obesity and increase* the body’s ability to deal higher blood glucose levels, according to the results of the study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
Lead author of the study, Jeffrey Tessem of the BYU, explained that epicatechin monomers protect* the cells and increase* their ability to resist oxidative stress. These compounds work to strengthen* the mitochondria in beta cells, thus leading to greater insulin release.
Findings from this study are significant primarily because it is the very first-time scientists were able to pinpoint to exact compounds that could delay or prevent insulin.
In past decades, numerous efforts have been made to find out more about compounds that would be beneficial for insulin release, but they gave inconsistent results.
The next step for this research team is to discover how to take the compound out of cocoa, make the most out of it, and use it as a potential treatment for diabetes patients. They want to move beyond intake of cocoa and dark chocolate.
In fact, they don’t recommend eating too much dark chocolate and cocoa anyway. Tessem and his team explain you would have to eat a lot of cocoa to experience these benefits.
Tips To Prevent Diabetes
- Keep weight in a healthy range, if overweight/obese take necessary measures to slim down because excess body weight is the greatest risk factor for type 2 diabetes
- Stay hydrated throughout the day
- Manage stress
- Get a lot of sleep
- Consume more fruits and vegetables
- Cut sugar and refined carbs
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking
- Minimize consumption of processed foods
The most recent study discovered that compounds found in cocoa have the potential to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
They do so by improving* insulin disease, thus lowering the severity of insulin resistance. Now, scientists plan to investigate how to take out the compound out of cocoa and use it for treatment of patients with diabetes.
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