High intake of cocoa products may reduce T2D risk
People who love to eat chocolate products and those with high intakes of cocoa-derived flavanols have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) even after controlling for sugar intake, diet quality and other aspects of the diet, according to a new study.
For chocolate candy, both the highest vs lowest (≥10 vs <1 g/day) consumption (hazard ratio [HR], 0.90; 95 percent CI, 0.83–0.97; ptrend=0.01) and the frequency (≥4/week vs <1/month) of intake (HR, 0.81; 0.72–0.91; ptrend=0.0002) showed an inverse correlation with T2D.
In addition, the estimated flavanol intake from cocoa products (≥3 vs <1 mg/day) was inversely associated with T2D risk (HR, 0.93; 0.88–0.99; ptrend=0.02). Furthermore, significant interaction terms suggested that the inverse association was limited to Japanese Americans, individuals with normal weight and those without comorbidities.
A total of 151,691 participants of Native Hawaiian, Japanese American, Latino, African American and white ancestry with 8,487 incident T2D cases after 7.8 years of follow-up were included in the analysis. Three self-reports were the basis for T2D status, which was confirmed by at least one of three administrative data sources.
The investigators assessed dietary intake using a validated quantitative food frequency questionnaire and estimated cocoa-derived flavanols from self-reported consumption of chocolate candy and drinks. They also used Cox hazard regression, adjusted for potential confounders, to estimate HRs and 95 percent CIs.
Cocoa products are thought to have protective benefits against chronic disease due to their polyphenol content, according to the investigators.