In vitro hypoglycemic and cholesterol lowering effects of dietary fiber prepared from cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) shells

Food Funct. 2012 Oct;3(10):1044-50. doi: 10.1039/c2fo30091e. Epub 2012 Jun 27.


Three dietary fiber (DF) powders; soluble dietary fiber (SDF), insoluble dietary fiber (IDF) and total dietary fiber (TDF) were prepared from cocoa bean shells (CBS) by enzymatic treatment. These DFs were evaluated for their effects on glucose adsorption, glucose diffusion, starch hydrolysis, cholesterol binding, sodium cholate binding and oil binding capacities using in vitro model systems by simulating gastric intestinal conditions. The results showed that SDF generally exhibited significantly (p < 0.05) higher glucose adsorption capacity (GAC), α-amylase inhibition activity, cholesterol and sodium cholate binding capacity, but less significant (>0.05) glucose dialysis retardation index (GDRI) and oil binding capacity, when compared with IDF and TDF which both showed similar effects. Moreover, it was discovered that the three CBS dietary fiber powders contained intrinsic antioxidants (phenolic compounds). The study suggested that CBS could be an alternative cheap source of DF with additional benefits. Thus, CBS fibers could be incorporated as low calorie bulk ingredients in high-fiber diet to reduce calorie and cholesterol levels and control blood glucose level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Cacao / chemistry*
  • Cholesterol / analysis*
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Dietary Fiber / pharmacology*
  • Egg Yolk / metabolism
  • Glucose / analysis
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Powders / chemistry
  • Solubility
  • alpha-Amylases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • alpha-Amylases / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Powders
  • Cholesterol
  • alpha-Amylases
  • Glucose