Benefits of Cocoa Extract in Fine's Cough Relief Gummies

Benefits of Cocoa Extract in Fine's Cough Relief Gummies

Cocoa (Theobroma cocoa) had been known since 4000 years ago. Cocoa was initially cultivated in the central region of Mexico since 2000 years ago. Historically, cocoa has been regarded as precious food for preserving healthy life and longevity. It is well known that cocoa extract contains a naturally occurring chemical called “γ-butyric acid (GABA)” which can lower elevated blood pressure and calm down nervousness. The healthy beneficial effects of cocoa extract may be attributed to the synergistic effects of its theobromine and polyphenols. In addition, the relaxation effect of cocoa extract may be mediated by GABA. Cocoa extract is suitable for various applications in cosmetics and natural supplements (nutraceuticals).

Chemical Composition

Various chemicals have been identified in cocoa extract including: Catechin; Epicatechin; Procyanidins; Cinnamtannin; 3-Methylcatechol, 4-Methylcatechol, and 4-Ethylcatechol; Benzoic acid; Quercetin (Dark chocolate); Resveratrol; Ferulic acid; Xanthines (Caffeine and theobromine); Minerals (Mg, Cu, Fe)

Health Benefits of Cocoa Extract
  • 1. Improves Cough

    A research study (2005) entitled “Theobromine inhibits sensory nerve activation and cough” published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, concluded “We conclude theobromine is a novel and promising treatment, which may form the basis for a new class of antitussive drugs”.

  • 2. Lowers Blood Pressure

  • A recent study (2016) entitled “Cocoa extract intake for 4 weeks reduces postprandial systolic blood pressure response of obese subjects, even after following an energy-restricted diet” published in Food & nutrition research concluded “These results suggest the role of cocoa flavanols on postprandial blood pressure homeostasis”.

    Another study (2011) entitled “Effects of cocoa extract and dark chocolate on angiotensin-converting enzyme and nitric oxide in human endothelial cells and healthy volunteers--a nutrigenomics perspective” published in Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology concluded “Data suggest that intake of dark chocolate containing high amount of cocoa inhibits ACE activity in vitro and in vivo”.

  • 3. Decreases Bad Cholesterol Levels

  • A research article (2008) entitled “Cacao procyanidins reduce plasma cholesterol and increase fecal steroid excretion in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet” published in BioFactors concluded “These results suggest that oligomeric procyanidins from cocoa powder are the principal active components responsible for the hypocholesterolemic effect, and inhibit the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and bile acids through the decrease in micellar cholesterol solubility”.

    Another research article (2001) entitled “Effects of cocoa powder and dark chocolate on LDL oxidative susceptibility and prostaglandin concentrations in humans” published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded “Cocoa powder and dark chocolate may favorably affect cardiovascular disease risk status by modestly reducing LDL oxidation susceptibility, increasing serum total antioxidant capacity and HDL-cholesterol concentrations, and not adversely affecting prostaglandins”.

  • 4. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
  • A review article (2010) entitled “Cocoa, chocolate and cardiovascular disease” published in Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology summarized:

    • A full range of health benefits can today be associated to the actions of flavanols and procyanidins on vascular function.

    • These benefits are mainly ascribed to diets rich in flavanols and procyanidins, and chocolate and cocoa derivatives are among the most valuable components of such a diet.

    • Considering the fact that CVD is associated with a series of conditions that can trigger oxidant production and oxidant-regulated cell signaling, it would be logical to relate the free radical scavenging and metal chelating properties of cocoa flavanols to CVD protective effects.

    • However, other biochemical mechanisms related to specific flavanol-lipid and flavanol-protein interactions can partially explain the observed in vitro and in vivo antioxidant effects.

    • These mechanisms are more consistent with the in vivo flavanol and procyanidins levels observed in most human and animal tissues.

    5. Elevates Mood

    A review article (2015) entitled “The acute and sub-chronic effects of cocoa flavanols on mood, cognitive and cardiovascular health in young healthy adults: a randomized, controlled trial” published in Frontiers in Pharmacology concluded “In conclusion, a 250 mg dose of cocoa flavanols was found to attenuate mental fatigue and improve minor aspects of cognitive performance acutely but not sub-chronically during a highly demanding task. Future research should assess a higher dose of cocoa as well as cognitive, mood and cardiovascular effects in an older cohort”.

    A research article (2013) entitled “Cocoa polyphenols enhance positive mood states but not cognitive performance: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial” published in Journal of Psychopharmacology concluded “This randomized controlled trial is perhaps the first to demonstrate the positive effects of cocoa polyphenols on mood in healthy participants. This provides a rationale for exploring whether cocoa polyphenols can ameliorate the symptoms associated with clinical anxiety or depression”.

  • 6. Improves Cognitive Function
  • A recent review article (2017) entitled “Enhancing Human Cognition with Cocoa Flavonoids” published in Frontiers in Nutrition summarized:

    • In recent years, in the context of an increased interest in the modulatory effects of food constituents on human health, cocoa flavanols have been suggested to display a variety of beneficial biological actions, including neuroprotection and cognitive modulation.

    • At present, the limited number of studies investigating cocoa flavanols intake and cognitive performance has produced mixed results.

    • Indeed, physiological responses to flavonoid supplementation such as vasodilation, both at peripheral and central levels, have been consistently replicated; conversely, cognitive findings are not as unequivocal.

    • When trying to account for such discrepancies, several methodological differences should be considered in dose, form, and timeframe of the cocoa flavanols administration, as well as in length and cognitive load of the experimental tasks.

    • All these variables could have a remarkable impact on physiological and behavioral results and are likely to partly explain discrepancies among results.

    • Nevertheless, the evidence accumulated so far suggests that cocoa flavanols administration can be effective at sustaining cognitive performance, leading to improvements in measures of general cognition, attention, processing speed and memory.

    • Beneficial cognitive effects of regular flavanols intake, particularly in patients at risk, are presumably mediated by direct neuroprotective actions as well as improvements in cerebrovascular and metabolic functions.

    • Furthermore, acute administration of cocoa flavanols could result in immediate cognitive-enhancing effect, sustaining performance particularly in cognitively demanding conditions, including fatigue and sleep loss.

    • Altogether, research on the effects of cocoa and chocolate on human cognition, although at its preliminary stage, converges at pointing to cocoa as a new interesting nutraceutical tool to protect human cognition and counteract different types of cognitive decline, thus encouraging further investigations.

    • Future research should be addressed to the identification of sensitive experimental measures capable of detecting flavanol-induced subtle changes in cognitive performance. Moreover, the characterization of appropriate dose, timing, and form of flavanols intervention required to reach beneficial effects in different populations, as well as the inclusion of fully matched placebo controls, are needed.

    • Undefined remain also the effects of both acute and chronic administration of cocoa flavanols on chronic sleep deprivation and shift work, situations that may have a pronounced clinical impact.

    • To elucidate immediate and long-term neuromodulatory properties of cocoa, future investigations should be ideally designed to include neuroimaging techniques in conjunction with cognitive and physiological measures.

    7. Improves Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease

    A review article (2013) entitled “The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance” published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology summarized:

    • Cocoa powder and chocolate contain a large percentage of flavonoids that display several beneficial actions on the brain.

    • In addition to their beneficial effects on the vascular system and on cerebral blood flow, flavonoids interact with signalization cascades involving protein and lipid kinases that lead to the inhibition of neuronal death by apoptosis induced by neurotoxicants such as oxygen radicals, and promote neuronal survival and synaptic plasticity.

    • They enter the brain and stimulate brain perfusion provoking angiogenesis and changes in neuron morphology that have been mainly studied in hippocampus.

    • Epicatechin, the main flavonoid present in cocoa and chocolate improves various aspects of cognition in animals and humans.

    • Chocolate also induces positive effects on mood and is often consumed under emotional stress.

    • In addition, flavonoids preserve cognitive abilities during aging in rats, lower the risk for developing Alzheimer's disease and decrease the risk of stroke in humans.

    • All these properties are of great interest but at present it is not clear when the consumption of cocoa and chocolate should be initiated to generate beneficial effects on agedependent cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases and many studies are still necessary to explore the neuroprotective potential of cocoa and chocolate.

    • On the other hand, cocoa is most often consumed in the form of energyrich chocolate, hence potentially detrimental especially because of the risk of weight gain, mainly in individuals vulnerable to certain eating problems leading to hyperphagic obesity.

    • Nevertheless, on the basis of the present knowledge, it appears that the benefits from moderate cocoa or chocolate consumption likely outweigh the possible risks

    • Moreover, a very recent human study reported that frequent chocolate consumption might actually be associated with a lower body mass index

    • Although these results are intriguing, as quoted by the authors, they are in line with preclinical data from mice given a 2 week treatment with epicatechin from cocoa.

    • The cocoa polyphenol improved mitochondrial function, including increased volume, cristae density and protein content for oxidative phosphorylation

    • These data warrant further research on potential mechanisms involved.

  • 8. Reduces Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • A research article (2010) entitled “High cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate may reduce the burden of the symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome” published in Nutrition Journal concluded “This study suggests that HCL/PR chocolate may improve symptoms in subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome”.

  • 9. Prevents and Improves Diabetes

  • A recent review article (2017) entitled “Effects of Cocoa Antioxidants in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus” published in Antioxidants summarized. Most studies within the last decade support a substantial role for cocoa and its flavanols in the nutritional prevention of T2D. Cocoa flavanols act by:

     

    • Regulating carbohydrate absorption in the gut
    • Protecting β-pancreatic cells function and enhancing insulin secretion
    • Improving insulin sensitivity in peripheral tissues such as liver, adipose tissue and skeletal muscle through regulation of glucose transporters and main proteins of the insulin signalling pathway
    • Exerting a lipid-lowering effect
    • Preventing the exacerbated oxidative stress and inflammation characteristics of the disease.

    All these effects contribute to improve the insulin sensitivity and to maintain normoglycaemia, and thus, to avert and/or significantly delay the onset of T2D and development of its complications.

     

  • Consequently, a moderate daily consumption of flavanols from cocoa or dark chocolate, along with an everyday intake of other dietary flavonoids, could be a valuable recommendation for the nutritional management of this disease.
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  • However, it is worth remembering that most of commercially available soluble cocoa products or chocolates contain low amount of flavanols and are rich in sugar and calories that may aggravate glycaemic control in T2D patients.
  • Hence, recommendation of consumption of chocolate or other cocoa derivatives to this population still requires further research, especially extensive well-designed human epidemiological and intervention studies, to delineate the amount of cocoa and variety of its products that might be beneficial to prevent, delay or contribute to the treatment of T2D.

  • 10. Prevents and Improves Cancer

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    A research study (2016) entitled “Antioxidant Activity and Cytotoxicity Effect of Cocoa Beans Subjected to Different Processing Conditions in Human Lung Carcinoma Cells” published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity concluded “In conclusion, cocoa extract presented itself as a potent antioxidant agent, with antioxidant capability influenced by the processing method and extraction. Slate cocoa beans extract inhibited cell proliferation, arrested cell cycle in different phases, and increased apoptosis in human lung carcinoma cells, in a time-dependent and dose-dependent manner. Our study has far reaching health relevance as cocoa could be projected as functional foods which, in addition to providing nutrition, would provide preventive therapeutic value against the development of cancer”.

  • 11. Promotes Healthy Skin
  •  

    A recent study (2016) published in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology concluded “These results suggest that cacao extract may offer a protective effect against photoaging by inhibiting the breakdown of dermal matrix, which leads to an overall reduction in wrinkle formation”.

    Another recent research article (2016) entitled “Efficacy of cocoa pod extract as antiwrinkle gel on human skin surface” published in Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology concluded “Flavonoid compounds in CPE contributed to the functional cosmetic properties of CPE. The CPE which is nontoxic to skin cells help to reduce wrinkles on skin after 3 weeks of application. CPE can be used as the active ingredients in antiwrinkle products, and prolonged application may result in significant visual changes to the naked eyes”.

    A review article (2010) entitled “Skin photoprotection by natural polyphenols: Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and DNA repair mechanisms” published in Archives of dermatological research summarized:

    • The polyphenols discussed in this review article show significant anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-DNA damaging effects.

    • These protective effects of polyphenols may contribute to their anti-photocarcinogenic effects and act to abrogate the various biochemical processes induced or mediated by solar UV radiation.

    • Based on the epidemiological evidence and laboratory studies conducted using in vitro and in vivo systems, it is suggested that routine consumption or topical treatment of these polyphenols may provide efficient protection against the harmful effects of solar ultraviolet radiation in humans

    A review article (2014) entitled “Cocoa Bioactive Compounds: Significance and Potential for the Maintenance of Skin Health” published in Nutrients summarized their conclusions:

    • Cocoa and cocoa products are important sources of phytocompounds with nutritional and therapeutic value.

    • A growing body of scientific evidence is becoming available to support that cocoa components with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory activities contribute to endogenous photoprotection and are crucial for the maintenance of skin health.

    • Several studies have shown that the beneficial effects of cocoa vary among the wide range of cocoa and chocolate products.

    • Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain the possible benefits of cocoa consumption on human health, but a clear molecular mechanism is still lacking.

    • Albeit clinical data provide critical evidence of the health value of cocoa, the main cellular processes and signaling pathways involved in the detoxification of reactive species and the removal of pro-inflammatory mediators are significantly underestimated.

    • Since cocoa contains a mixture of bioactive components, further studies are needed to determine the possible synergistic interaction between them. For several reasons, cocoa-derived phytochemicals are receiving increasing interest from consumers and food manufacturers, but the bioavailability, the kinetics of absorption and the bioactivity are not well-established. Pertaining to skin health, cocoa components have been utilized in diseases, such as skin cancer, psoriasis, acne and wound healing.

    • It is noteworthy that is has been shown that cocoa has great potential not only for the treatments of skin diseases, but also for their prevention.

    • In particular, antioxidants found in cocoa protect the skin from the inside by neutralizing oxidative stress, a major factor of dermal structure deterioration and premature skin aging.

    • In conclusion, multiple lines of evidence support the role of cocoa in the promotion of human health, but a full understanding of the mechanisms of action of cocoa-derived phytochemicals as modulators of cell signaling is the key to evaluate the efficiency of these potent biomolecules as anti-aging agents.

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    12. Boosts the Immune System

     

    A review article (2013) entitled “The effects of cocoa on the immune system” published in Frontiers in Pharmacology summarized:

    • A cocoa diet has been shown to influence the immune system: in the innate inflammatory response as well as in the adaptive immunity, and in both systemic and intestinal compartments.

    • From the results concerning the effects of cocoa on inflammatory reaction, it could be concluded that although cocoa demonstrates clear anti-inflammatory properties in vitro, when tested in vivo results are more controversial.

    • To date, it can be concluded that if inflammation is mild and cocoa has a high polyphenol content, it could help in the resolution of inflammatory response, and, in any case, due to its antioxidant properties, cocoa can be a complementary anti-inflammatory therapy.

    • Concerning lymphocytes and adaptive immune response, cocoa diet in young rats influences lymphoid tissue composition mainly by decreasing the proportion of Th cells by unknown mechanisms.

    • In addition, the influence of cocoa on the first phases of T lymphocyte activation is not clear. In vitro studies show the downregulatory effect of cocoa on IL-2 production, but is not confirmed in vivo. When studying effector Th cells, it seems clear that in rat, a diet containing 10% cocoa produces a downregulation of Th2 response. In addition, it is worth noting the effect of this diet in attenuating the synthesis of antibodies.

    • The downregulatory effects of cocoa could then be applied to counteract immune-mediated diseases in which antibodies play a pathogenic role.

    • In autoimmune inflammatory diseases, a cocoa diet does not potently reduce inflammation but counteracts concomitant oxidative stress.

    • More interestingly, a cocoa diet in rats reduces IgE synthesis which could be useful in treating allergic diseases.

    • In addition to these effects, a cocoa diet also influences the functionality of gut-associated lymphoid tissue.

    • Here, similarly to the results found in the systemic compartment, a cocoa diet in rats downregulates Th2 responses and also the intestinal immunoglobulin production.

    • It has been demonstrated that a cocoa diet influences some intercellular reactions and the gut-homing process of activated cells, resulting, therefore, in an attenuation in the synthesis of S-IgA into the intestinal lumen.

    • Moreover, a cocoa diet is able to modify intestinal microbiota and also the cross-talk between these bacteria and body cells.

    • All these results allow us to suggest that a cocoa diet could be beneficial in certain immune processes.

    • Further research may elucidate the cocoa compounds involved in such an effect and also the possible medical approaches to these repercussions.

    The bottom line, Cocoa Extract is one of the main active ingredients of Fine’s Cough Relief Pectin Gummies for kids. This natural supplement is a safe and an effective balanced formula designed to improve dry, productive cough and other symptoms of cold in kids. This product may also improve:

    • Infections and Inflammation

    • Immune system

    • Asthma and bronchitis

    • Cholesterol levels

    • Muscle spasm

    • Allergy

    • Mood

    • High blood sugar levels

    • High blood pressure


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