Jul 7, 2009

Potential complementarity of high-flavanol cocoa powder and spirulina for health protection

Medical Hypotheses
Mark F McCartyFrancisco Contreras


Recent studies show that ingestion of flavanol-rich cocoa powder provokes increased endothelial production of nitric oxide - an effect likely mediated by epicatchin - and thus may have considerable potential for promoting vascular health. The Kuna Indians of Panama, who regularly consume large amounts of flavanol-rich cocoa, are virtually free of hypertension and stroke, even though they salt their food. Of potentially complementary merit is the cyanobacterium spirulina, which has been used as a food in certain cultures. Spirulina is exceptionally rich in phycocyanobilin (PCB), which recently has been shown to act as a potent inhibitor of NADPH oxidase; this effect likely rationalizes the broad range of anti-inflammatory, cytoprotective, and anti-atherosclerotic effects which orally administered spirulina has achieved in rodent studies. In light of the central pathogenic role which NADPH oxidase-derived oxidant stress plays in a vast range of disorders, spirulina or PCB-enriched spirulina extracts may have remarkable potential for preserving and restoring health. Joint administration of flavanol-rich cocoa powder and spirulina may have particular merit, inasmuch as cocoa can mask the somewhat disagreeable flavor and odor of spi...Continue Reading

  • References85
  • Citations4


  • References85
  • Citations4

Mentioned in this Paper

Senile Paranoid Dementia
Cacao Plant
APP protein, human
Pathogenic Organism
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Blood Vessel

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