Adults who consume chocolate daily are more likely to have lower insulin resistance and liver enzyme levels, according to study findings presented at the Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle Scientific Sessions in Phoenix.
Ala’a Al Kerwi, MD, PhD, senior researcher in epidemiology and public health at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,153 adults recruited between 2007 and 2009 to participate in the ORISCAV-LUX study, an ongoing cardiovascular health monitoring program in Luxembourg. Participants provided blood, urine and hair samples; researchers used a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire to measure chocolate consumption in grams per day. Researchers used blood glucose and insulin to calculate homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and measured various hepatic biomarkers.
Ala'a Al Kerwi
Within the cohort, 81.8% self-reported to be chocolate consumers; these participants were more likely to be younger, physically active and affluent, with higher education levels and fewer comorbidities. After excluding participants assigned antihyperglycemic medications, higher chocolate consumption was associated with lower HOMA-IR (beta level = –0.16; P = .004), serum insulin levels (beta level = –0.16; P = .003) and liver enzymes, including gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (beta level = –0.12; P = .009) and alanine transaminase (beta level = –0.09; P = .004). Results persisted after adjusting for age, sex, education, lifestyle (smoking status and physical activity) and dietary confounding factors, including daily energy intake, consumption of fruits and vegetables, alcohol, coffee and tea.
“Chocolate consumption may improve hepatic enzyme levels and may protect against insulin resistance, a well-established risk factor for cardiometabolic disorders,” Al Kerwi told Endocrine Today. “Future research should focus on intervention trials in order to confirm this cross-sectional relationship.”
The Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle Scientific Sessions are sponsored by the American Heart Association, in collaboration with the Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention. – by Regina Schaffer
Al Kerwi A, et al. Abstract P142. Presented at: EPI/Lifestyle Scientific Session; March 1-4, 2016; Phoenix.
For more information:
Ala’a Al Kerwi, MD, PhD, can be reached at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, 1A-B, rue Thomas Edison, L-1445 Strassen Luxembourg; email: Alaa.AlKerwi@lih.lu.
Disclosure: Al Kerwi reports no relevant financial disclosures.