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Old 10-18-2008, 11:10 PM
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Default Resveratrol Found in Dark Chocolate

The September 24, 2008 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that resveratrol, a health-promoting polyphenol that occurs in peanuts, grapes, and red wine, is also found in cocoa and dark chocolate products. The compound has been associated with improvements in metabolic syndrome, energy use, and increased endurance, and has been associated with life span benefits in animal studies.

W. Jeffrey Hurst and colleagues analyzed commercially available cocoa powder, baking chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet baking chips, milk chocolate and chocolate syrup for levels of trans-resveratrol and its glucoside, trans-piceid. They found that cocoa powder contained the highest amount of the compounds, followed by baking chocolates and dark chocolates.

Levels of resveratrol per serving for cocoa powder was about half that of the average California red wine, but exceeded that of peanut butter and roasted peanuts. Overall, chocolate products were found to rank second after red wine and grape juice as foods containing the highest amounts of resveratrol.

"Cocoa is a highly complex natural food which contains in excess of seven hundred naturally occurring compounds, with many more yet to be discovered," Dr Hurst remarked. "For years, flavanols, a different class of compounds in chocolate, received most of the attention, but these are quite different than resveratrol. It is exciting to see additional antioxidants identified in cocoa and chocolate."

"This study shows that the levels of resveratrol found in cocoa and chocolate products is second to red wine among known sources of resveratrol and forms yet another important link between the antioxidants found in cocoa and dark chocolate to other foods," commented David Stuart, PhD, who is Director of Natural Product Science at The Hershey Company who partnered with Planta Analytica in the study.
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