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Cocoa Epicatchins and Quercetin

Cocoa is the seed of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao. It is thought to have been originally cultivated 3,000 years ago by the original inhabitants of Central and Northern South America. Columbus in his travels was introduce to cocoa and brought it to Spain about 1502 and then it reached France in the 17th century and England in the 18th century and chocolate produced from the beans in 19th century.

Cocoa is rich in flavonol antioxidants of the polyphenol class. Predominant molecules known to be connexin-enhancers are epicatchins and quercetin. Flavanoid amounts have been calculated for various cocoa products and from highest to lowest amounts are: Natural cocoa powders, unsweetened baking chocolates, alkalinized (dutched) cocoa powder, Dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate baking chips, milk chocolate.

Epicatchins and quercetin are associated with benefits for heart disease and cancer. Additionally, these flavonols have been shown to help combat prostatitis, cataracts, bronchitis, asthma, various allergies and inflammatory disorders.

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