Cocoa and the Immune System

The University of Barcelona reports that rats fed a cocoa-enriched diet had “significant increases in the total antioxidant capacity in all the body tissues, particularly in the thymus.” The article can be found at the link below.

Cocoa-rich diet may boost thymus antioxidant defences

A link to the abstract is here.

The amount of cocoa that was fed to the rats was pretty high. In one group, the cocoa was 4% of the total food intake, in another group it was 10%. However, I couldn’t find if that was by weight, calorie, volume or how the percentage was measured. The results showed a correlation between the cocoa intake and the antioxidant increase in the thymus.

The thymus produces hormones used in our immune system. Of course, additional studies are necessary to see if the same effects apply to humans…

So what is the optimal intake of antioxidants for humans? Are there different kinds of antioxidants? Does it matter what kind we eat or how we get them? Wow, lots of fodder for future blogs or comments from readers. Feel free to point out some good sources of information or to leave your comments.

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5 responses to “Cocoa and the Immune System

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