- New research finds: Cocoa flavanols help alleviate depression
- Barry Callebaut’s ACTICOA™ chocolate is one of the world’s richest sources of cocoa flavanols
- ACTICOA™ chocolate helps reduce symptoms of depression and has a mood-elevating effect
Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high quality cocoa and chocolate products, announces the results of a recent study, revealing the mood-elevating effect of cocoa polyphenols. The independent research, conducted by the French ETAP-Applied Ethology, Centre de Recherche en Pharmacologie, Cancérologie & Pathologies Humaines et Nutrition-Santé’ in Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy and published in the international scientific journal Nutritional Neuroscience indicates that cocoa polyphenols help to reduce the symptoms of depression. ACTICOA™ chocolate is one of the richest natural sources of cocoa polyphenols, more specifically flavanols. Flavanols have, among other health benefits, a positive effect on cardiovascular health.
The antidepressant-like effect of cocoa extract was tested at two doses in an internationally recognized, validated ethical and ethological behavioral animal test, which mirrors depressive feelings in humans. Already with the lowest dose of cocoa extract given during two weeks, a clear and significant antidepressant-like effect was seen regarding the specific activity during this behavioral test, which was comparable with the effect obtained with a standard reference antidepressant product included in this test, and without any side effects.
Cocoa extract, as a natural source of several possible mood-lifting components, seems to be a promising alternative for existing antidepressant agents. This positive behavior seems to be mediated by the reversal of brain oxidative damage, which is often associated with depression in human.
According to the study, this antidepressant-like effect can most likely be attributed to the antioxidant potential of cocoa polyphenols. Further studies are required to identify the active components of the cocoa polyphenol extract which demonstrate this antidepressant-like activity.