Natural Products pp 2311-2332 | Cite as

Proanthocyanidins of Cocoa: Bioavailability and Biological Activities

  • Manuel RusconiEmail author
  • Maria Teresa Pinorini
  • Ario Conti
Reference work entry


Cocoa and dark chocolate contain many active compounds, which seem to play some pharmacological roles both in vitro and in human. Many studies have focused their attention on polyphenol content, which is elevated in cocoa beans and in some kind of dark chocolate, depending on harvest and postharvest handling. Procyanidins monomers and oligomers modulate a large quantity of biological mechanisms. Indeed, scientists might be more interested to better understand pharmacological aspects of such compounds in vivo and their mechanisms of action and interactions with other molecules as well as new medicines. Moreover, some potential adverse effects have to be taken into prompt consideration. This chapter, which is not the result of a specific experimental work but only a short study of recent bibliography on the specific subject, might help in understanding some aspects connected with the chemistry of cocoa and chocolate.


Chocolate cocoa proanthocyanidins human health adverse effects 



Amyloid precursor protein

Amyloid beta


Area under the curve


Blood-brain barrier


Cyclooxygenase 2


Endothelium-dependent relaxation


Epigallocatechin gallate


High-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Nitric oxide synthases


Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Mean degree of polymerization


Nonfat cocoa solids


Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells


Nitric oxide


No observed adverse effect level


Oxygen radical absorbance capacity


Acidity constant


Uridine 5′-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Rusconi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria Teresa Pinorini
    • 1
  • Ario Conti
    • 1
  1. 1.Alpine Institute of Chemistry and Toxicology, Center of CompetenceAlpine Foundation for Life SciencesOlivoneSwitzerland

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