Chocolate has come up with yet another health benefit, researchers and scientists came up with a new study that says chocolate consumption may stave off bowel cancer. Well for chocoholics munching regularly on the sweet treat, this is yet another good news. Its already been suggested that eating chocolate with high cocoa content could help in controlling diabetes, blood pressure and heart diseases.
According to the study conducted by researchers at the Science and Technology Institute of Food and Nutrition of Spain, it was found that eating a diet high in cocoa reduces the risk of developing colon cancers which kills more than 6,55,000 people every year world wide. In England, Bowel cancer is the third most common type of cancer and it is estimated that 16,000 people die from this disease each year. According to past studies it is believed that the cocoa seed is rich in particularly powerfull natural antioxidants that destroy harmfull molecules known as free radicals. This study and the new findings are the latest to claim that the cocoa beans have health benefits, most of which is harvested in West Africa.
The Experiment was conducted on a group of rats instead of humans as it is believed that rats are at a comparitively high risk of developing colon cancer. The rats were divided into two groups of which one group was fed with a regular diet consisting of 12% of cocoa for eight weeks, while the other group was given a diet that has no cocoa content. After a period of time, both the groups were exposed to a carcinogen called Azoxymethane, which is used to induce colon cancer. It was observed that within four weeks of exposure to the toxins rats began to develop the intestinal/Colon/Bowel cancer
Bowel cancer is a type cancer that usually develops in the large bowel and depending upon where the cancer starts it can sometimes be referred to as Colon or Rectal or Intestinal cancer. The researches discovered that the group of rats that were fed with a diet rich in cocoa developed a reduced number of pre- cancerous lesions when compared to that of the other group that were fed with a normal diet. In rats who were not fed with cocoa there were also changes in proteins that increase cell division and increse the potentiality of cell death ultimately promoting the growth of tumors. It is believed that the study published in the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research is the first to suggest that cocoa could help in preventing Bowel cancer.
The study was led by Dr Maria Arribas of The Science And Technology Institute Of Food And Nutrition of Spain. Maria says "Foods like cocoa, which is rich in polyphenols seems to play an important role in protecting against disease". Further research is now needed to know how the raw materials wouls benefit humans. Sarah Williams a spokesperson from Cancer Research UK warned that eating too much chocolate can also have a negative impact because chocolate is high in fats and calories, so eating too much chocolate could lead to obesity which might increase the risk of developing Bowel cancer.
Commenting on the study she said "This study involved rats in the lab who were fed very large quantities of Cocoa over a number of weeks, so it is impossible to conclude that eating chocolate or drinking cocoa prevents people against Bowel cancer". Sarah Williams suggested few health tips that could help you prevent bowel cancer, which includes eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits, veg and fiber and limiting the comsumption of red and processed meat, cutting down on alcohol and smoking, staying physically active.