Flavan-3-ol fraction from cocoa powder promotes mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle in mice

Lipids Health Dis. 2014 Apr 5;13:64. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-13-64.

Abstract

Background: Numerous clinical studies have reported that ingestion of chocolate has reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. In order to elucidate the mechanism, we evaluated the influence of flavan-3-ols derived from cocoa powder on energy metabolism in mice using an indirect calorimetric method.

Method: The mice were divided into two groups, and administered either distilled water or 50 mg/kg of flavan-3-ol fraction for 2 weeks. At the end of the experimental period, animals were sacrificed after blood pressure and the mean respiratory exchange ratio (RER) over 24 hours were measured.

Results: The mean respiratory exchange ratio (RER) over 24 hours was reduced significantly in the flavan-3-ols group. The mean blood pressure was significantly decreased in flavan-3-ols treatment group compared with control group. The protein level of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 (CPT2) was increased significantly by flavan-3-ols in skeletal muscle, but not in liver. Uncoupling protein (UCP) 1 was increased significantly in brown adipose tissue by flavan-3-ols. The mitochondria copy number in gastrocnemius and soleus muscles and brown adipose tissue were increased significantly by administration of flavan-3-ol fraction.

Conclusion: These results suggest that flavan-3-ols enhances lipolysis and promotes mitochondrial biogenesis. We conclude that improvement of metabolic syndrome risk factors following ingestion of chocolate may be induced, in part, by the mitochondrial biogenesis-promoting effect of flavan-3-ols.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cacao / chemistry*
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Flavonoids / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitochondria / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*

Substances

  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • flavan-3-ol