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Role of Theobromine in Cocoa’s Metabolic Properties in Healthy Rats

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journal contribution
posted on 11.03.2019, 00:00 by Mariona Camps-Bossacoma, Mar Garcia-Aloy, Sandra Saldaña-Ruiz, Trinitat Cambras, Raúl González-Domínguez, Àngels Franch, Francisco J. Pérez-Cano, Cristina Andres-Lacueva, Margarida Castell
Cocoa is rich in polyphenols and methylxanthines, and it has been reported that its consumption, among other properties, has beneficial effects on metabolism. This study aimed to investigate the role of theobromine in cocoa’s metabolic properties in healthy rats. In addition to morphometric measurements, biochemical markers of lipids and glucose metabolism and gene expression of molecules related to immune cells in adipose and hepatic tissues were assessed after 7 or 18 days of diet. Additionally, a metabolomic analysis was carried out at day 7. This study revealed the presence of six discriminant metabolites in plasma due to the diets. Moreover, the results showed that theobromine is the main responsible factor for cocoa’s effects on body weight gain as well as on lipid and glucose metabolism. The effects on body weight and lipids appeared as early as after 7 days of diet, whereas those affecting glucose metabolism required a longer intervention.