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Theobroma cacao and Theobroma grandiflorum: Bioactive Compounds and Associated Health Benefits

  • Maria Inés GenoveseEmail author
  • Helena Rudge de Moraes Barros
Reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)

Abstract

The genus Theobroma comprises about 20 species, among them cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.), with the highest economic importance, and cupuassu (T. grandiflorum), of growing interest. Chemical compositions of cocoa and cupuassu unprocessed fresh seeds, pulps, and products (chocolate and cupulate) are presented, and the effects of processing in profile and quantity of the bioactive compounds, namely polyphenols and methylxanthines, are discussed. Dietary consumption of cocoa and dark chocolate has been associated to beneficial effects on health, mainly related to polyphenols and their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities affecting important signaling pathways and also modulating intestinal microbiota. Vasodilation and cardioprotective effects of cocoa polyphenols are related to release of nitric oxide (NO) through activation of endothelial NO synthase. Significant improvement of insulin resistance and flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) and reductions in diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure were reported. In particular, the effects of cocoa and cupuassu polyphenols on obesity and glucose metabolism are reviewed.

Keywords

Cocoa Cupuassu Polyphenols Obesity Glucose metabolism 

Abbreviations

AA

Arachidonic acid

ALT

Alanine aminotransferase

AMPK

AMP-activated protein kinase

AST

Aspartate aminotransferase

BMI

Body mass index

DW

Dry weight

FA

Fatty acid

FFA

Free fatty acids

FMD

Flow-mediated dilatation

FW

Fresh weight

GK

Glucokinase

GLP

Glucagon-like peptide

GLUT

Glucose transporter

GPx

Glutathione peroxidase

GR

Glutathione reductase

GS

Glycogen synthase

GSK3

Glycogen synthase kinase 3

HDLc

High-density lipoprotein

HF

High fat

HO-1

Heme oxygenase-1

HOMA-B

Homeostatic model assessment of cell function

IRS

Insulin receptor substrate

JNK

Jun N-terminal kinase

LDLc

Low-density lipoprotein

MDA

Malondialdehyde

MES-WAT

Mesenteric white adipose tissue

NF-κB

Nuclear factor kappa B

NO

Nitric oxide

Nrf2

Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor

PEPCK

Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

SOD

Superoxide dismutase

T2D

Type 2 diabetes

Tb/Cf ratio

Theobromine/caffeine ratio

TBARS

Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances

TC

Total cholesterol

TG

Triacylglycerol

TLR4

Toll-like receptor 4

UCP

Uncoupling protein

VLDLc

Very low-density lipoprotein

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Inés Genovese
    • 1
    Email author
  • Helena Rudge de Moraes Barros
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and Experimental NutritionUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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