Epidemiological studies suggest that chocolate increases the incidence and severity of acne. Here we demonstrate that chocolate consumption primes human blood mononuclear cells from volunteers to release more interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-10 upon stimulation with Propionibacterium acne or Staphylcoccus aureus, the two microorganisms involved in the pathogenesis of acne. In contrast, production of the Th17-derived cytokine IL-22 was inhibited by chocolate. Modulation of inflammation could represent an important mechanism through which chocolate consumption influences acne.
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