Spanish researchers show that cocoa modifies the intestinal microbiota in patients with type 2 diabetes

Spanish researchers show that cocoa modifies the intestinal microbiota in patients with type 2 diabetes

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The intake of cocoa modifies the intestinal microbiota of individuals with type 2 diabetes, according to a study carried out by researchers from CIBERDEM at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and the Institute of Food and Nutrition Science and Technology (ICTAN-CSIC).


Diabetes leads to dysbiosis, an alteration of the normal balance between the different populations of bacteria that inhabit the intestine. In this sense, the study has shown for the first time a positive effect of cocoa by modulating this mismatched microbiota in rats with the disease.

“These modifications, in addition, are directly associated with an improvement in blood glucose control and intestinal health in these animals,” said the experts, who have used diabetic and obese ‘Zucker’ rats (ZDF), an animal model. widely used in experimentation because they suffer from severe obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance

For ten weeks, from the tenth to the twentieth of life, a group of these rats was fed a standard diet while another group was fed a diet enriched with 10 percent cocoa.

At the end of the study, parameters related to the control of glucose levels and intestinal health were evaluated, as well as the composition of the intestinal microbiota and the levels of metabolites derived from bacteria in feces, such as short chain fatty acids or lactate.

“Although these studies on the effects of cocoa on the intestinal microbiota provide interesting conclusions, by themselves they are not sufficient to elucidate the exact mechanisms of action or the causality between the changes observed in the microbiome and the metabolic improvements induced by cocoa in the diabetic animals “, they have explained.

The researchers advocate a more complex analysis of the situation and, in this sense, they advance that in the CIBERDEM the metabolomic study of the metabolites or small molecules in this case produced by the intestinal microbiome, of the rats with and without diabetes.


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