Oh my Gut! Chocolate, Microbes and Human Health

Chocolate, Microbes and Human Health

Yes, you read that right.

This blog post concerns the relationship between chocolate, gut microbes and human health in its entirety. Does a holier triple alliance even exist?

During the last couple of years, a wide variety of food sources (and their effects on human health) have been examined within scientific scope. From the implications of dairy and gluten to the demonization of lectin-containing food particles—the results all indicate the same: human health is intrinsically linked to food sources that either aggravate or alleviate inflammation in the body.

This partly follows from the fact that (anti)inflammatory foods affect the gut microbiome in more ways than one. It’s becoming a known fact that ingredients in diets that are derived from prebiotics and consumed as probiotics (or synbiotics, anyone?) play a significant role in the changes of the human gut microbiota. Now, to our greatest enthusiasm, chocolate falls within the category of extremely rich in polyphenols prebiotics.

Luckily for us, research suggests, polyphenols inhibit the growth of tested microbial species in the human gut. As a result, they cause an increase of probiotics (particularly the Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli) that together make up for part of the gut microbiome. What’s more, polyphenols do so in such a way that is bidirectional with the gut microbiota. Hence, the gut microbes affect the absorption of polyphenols at the same time as the absorption of polyphenols affects the growth of bacterial species — we know, it’s a mouthful!

According to research, the ingestion of cocoa impacts the intestinal microbiota in a probiotic kind of way, promoting the Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, whilst decreasing the number of Clostridia (of which many types causes diseases). In turn, it appeared to affect the expression of the intestinal toll-like receptors (TLRs): leading to a lower level of Immunoglobulin and bettering the overall intestinal immune response.

Now, add to this research that chocolate is filled with healthy fats that promote good gut-brain health and is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and we believe you’ve gotten the whole picture of why your body craves chocolate so damn much!

You know where to find it if you want to treat yourself to a deliciously low carb, high fat chocolate that is vegan, MCT-oil rich, AND sugar-, soy- and crap-free!

In case you’re not fully convinced yet, take a look at these groundbreaking research findings:

Chocolate, gut microbiota, and human health

The inhibitory effect of polyphenols on human gut microbiota

Prebiotic evaluation of cocoa-derived flavanols in healthy humans


Article written by Julia Kempi


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