Cocoa Ingredient Better Than Penicillin?

Amazing story. Apparently the ingredient called epicatechin has many good effects on overall health. The epicatechin can reduce the risk from stroke and heart failure. Kuna people on the San Blas islands are drinking cocoal each day in large ammounts. Their risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes was reduced to less than 10 per cent. Read more in the following story Cocoa ingredient ‘rivals penicillin’

The health benefits of one ingredient of cocoa are so striking that it “may rival penicillin and anaesthesia in terms of importance to public health”. Roger Highfield reports

The ingredient – epicatechin – can reduce the risk from diseases such as stroke and heart failure, Norman Hollenberg, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told the journal Chemistry & Industry.

Prof Hollenberg has spent years studying the benefits of cocoa drinking on the Kuna people on the San Blas islands off the coast of Panama. They drink up to 40 cups of cocoa a week. Among the Kuna, he found that the risk of stroke, heart failure, cancer and diabetes was reduced to less than 10 per cent.
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“Epicatechin could potentially get rid of four of the five most common diseases in the western world,” Prof Hollenberg told the journal.

The cocoa that the Kuna drink is homemade and very rich in chemicals called -flavanols, notably epicatechin, which is known to have cardio-vascular benefits.

Flavanols are removed from commercial cocoas because they tend to have a bitter taste.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2007/03/12/nteens112.xml