Cocoa for Weight Loss

Bowls of cocoa beans and powder with broken chocolate pieces on color background from

Trying to lose weight? Could the secret weapon be More DESSERT! 

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. 

Our sweet tooths can cause problems for our waistlines and livers! People with obesity commonly develop excess liver fat, known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or N.A.F.L.D. Could a possible disease treatment be. . . something decadent? 

Joshua Lambert and team from Pennsylvania State University put fifty obese mice on a scale. After weigh-ins, half the mice stayed on a fat-filled diet. The others got the same food – with COCOA POWDER! 

Eight weeks later, all the mice were weighed. Then the researchers checked the level of fat in the mouse livers. 

Results? Chubby mice fed cocoa powder gained weight about TWENTY percent SLOWER than the mice that didn’t get the treat! AND they had almost thirty percent less fat in their livers.

Researchers think chemicals in cocoa powder inhibit fat digestion. This lets fat pass right through the digestive system. If so, this powdery solution may eventually help humans with N.A.F.L.D. 

More research is needed – and maybe more cocoa! With marshmallows, please! Mini ones.

Reference: Sun, M., Gu, Y., Glisan, S. L., & Lambert, J. D. (2021). Dietary cocoa ameliorates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and increases markers of antioxidant response and mitochondrial biogenesis in high fat-fed mice. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 92, 108618.