Study: Eating Pure Cocoa Improves Visual Acuity in Daylight | Medicine, Nutrition

A duo of researchers in Spain has examined the acute impact of compounds present in cocoa and purple berries on retinal features in wholesome eyes.

In wholesome eyes, photopic visible acuity improved considerably after cocoa flavanols ingestion and confirmed a non-significant pattern to an enchancment with red-berries anthocyanins. Image credit score:

Cocoa and red-berries are good sources of polyphenols in human weight-reduction plan.

Red-berries are characterised by the presence of anthocyanins, a gaggle of red-purple-blue flavonoids related to endothelial safety and irritation.

Cocoa is wealthy in flavan-3-ols but in addition accommodates different polyphenols reminiscent of phenolic acids and flavonols.

Additionally, cocoa is an effective supply of theobromine, which in distinction with caffeine has a lesser psychoactive impact however can scale back blood strain whereas caffeine has proven to extend it relying on the individual.

“The retina is a extremely vascularized tissue with a excessive metabolic and oxygen demand answerable for human imaginative and prescient,” mentioned Dr. María Cinta Puell from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Dr. Sonia de Pascual-Teresa from the ICTAN-CSIC.

“Considering that the polyphenolic flavanols and anthocyanins have been proven to be helpful for endothelial operate and cerebral blood-flow, an acute randomized and managed crossover trial with two totally different sources of polyphenols, anthocyanins from red-berries and flavanols from cocoa, was designed to raised perceive the impact of polyphenols on visible acuity and cone-mediated darkish adaptation.”

The examine concerned 17 girls and 20 males with an age between 18 and 27 years.

The contributors attended the lab in three totally different visits the place they consumed a drink with cocoa, a drink with red-berries and a management (milk).

Before each go to, contributors had been requested to chorus from consuming or consuming any polyphenol- or caffeine-rich meals or drink for the earlier 24 h.

The day by day quantity of cocoa (2.5 g) and purple berries powder (10 g) was homogenized to be 175 mg whole polyphenols within the two examine arms and nil for the management weight-reduction plan.

Total flavanol contents in cocoa had been 1.5 mg/g and whole anthocyanin contents within the red-berry powder had been 3.2 mg/g.

“To measure visible acuity, letter charts had been positioned 4 m from the people in numerous lighting situations, excessive (photopic) and low (mesopic),” the researchers mentioned.

“Adaptation to darkness employed a psychophysical technique measuring the sensitivity restoration dynamic subsequent to the whitening of the retinal photopigments.”

“Our primary discovering was that photopic visible acuity improved considerably after cocoa ingestion however solely confirmed a pattern to an enchancment with red-berries.”

“The enchancment in photopic visible acuity may very well be attributed to flavanols and theobromine.”

“Mesopic visible acuity and darkish adaptation weren’t affected by any of the 2 polyphenol diets.”

“We have to conduct sure additional research as proof of idea to substantiate that the impact is actual and that the outcomes may very well be utilized to the design of merchandise which might assist to enhance visible acuity and a spotlight in outlined populations,” Dr. de Pascual-Teresa mentioned.

The findings had been printed within the Journal of Functional Foods.


Maria Cinta Puella & Sonia de Pascual-Teresa. 2021. The acute impact of cocoa and red-berries on visible acuity and cone-mediated darkish adaptation in wholesome eyes. Journal of Functional Foods 81: 104435; doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2021.104435

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