Posted: March 17, 2022

Dietary cocoa improves the health of obese mice and may have implications for humans.

Photo: Bigstock

Photo: Bigstock

Supplementation of cocoa powder in the diets of high-fat-fed mice with liver disease markedly reduced the severity of their condition, according to a new study by Penn State researchers, who suggest the results have implications for people.

Cocoa powder, used in the production of chocolate, is rich in fiber, iron, and phytochemicals and is reported to have positive health benefits, noted study leader Joshua Lambert, professor of food science in the college.

This study, published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, was relevant because it used a commercially available cocoa product at a "physiologically achievable dose," meaning its equivalent could be duplicated by humans. For people, it works out to about 10 tablespoons of cocoa powder a day. That's about five cups of hot cocoa a day.

--Jeff Mulhollem