Consumption of high-flavanol cocoa improves skin structure and function
Cocoa butter has long been used topically in many skin creams and cosmetics because it is thought to be good for the skin. Now, new research just published in the Journal of Nutrition reveals the potential benefits of consuming flavanol-rich cocoa and how it might actually benefit skin from the inside out.
Researchers found that certain components in cocoa may actually help improve the appearance of womens skin – increasing hydration, decreasing skin roughness and scaling, and helping to support the skins defense against UV damage. The German scientists attributed the observed benefits to cocoa flavanols – a group of compounds that can be particularly rich in cocoa and that have been previously reported to improve blood flow and vessel function.
In this new study, 24 healthy women (aged 18 to 65) were randomly assigned to two groups. One group drank a high-flavanol Cocoapro® cocoa beverage (329 mg) once a day, while the other group consumed a matched cocoa beverage low in flavanols (27 mg). At three different periods during the 12-week study, various tests were conducted to evaluate skin properties: sensitivity to UV irradiation, skin blood flow, skin structure and texture, and skin hydration.
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