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Chocolate and Other Cocoa Products: Effects on Human Reproduction and Pregnancy

Brillo, Eleonora, Di Renzo, Gian Carlo
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2015 v.63 no.45 pp. 9227-9935
chocolate, energy, foods, healthy diet, human health, human reproduction, nutrients, pregnancy, women
Chocolate and other cocoa products are not all alike. They differ between themselves in term of nutrients, calories, and bioactive constituents. Therefore, some of them are unhealthy foods, whereas others do not affect health and still others are healthy foods. One wonders which chocolate and other cocoa derivatives can be considered as biofunctional food products. This review explores the constituents of cocoa and chocolate and summarizes evidence about the role of cocoa and chocolate components on human health and particularly on reproduction. On the basis of the literature review, it can be asserted that some kinds of cocoa products have favorable effects on human health at different stages of life. Women seem to be particularly favored by consuming of cocoa products, and chocolate with specific features can also be a good supplementary source of energy for pregnant woman. However, many aspects remain to be investigated and others are still to be clarified. Future studies and systematic reviews will shed light on some preventive effects and health benefits of cocoa products.