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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Prebiotic Effect of Cocoa-Derived Flavonoids

Location: Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-51530-056-07-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2013
End Date: Nov 1, 2014

To determine the pre-biotic effects of cocoa-derived flavonoids on modulation of the negative effects of obesity. The flavonoid content of cocoa products will be characterized and associated with changes in intestinal microbiota, reduction in obesity-induced inflammation, and effects on immune and intestinal function in pigs fed an obesogenic diet with and without cocoa added to the diet. The hypothesis is that cocoa-derived flavonoids reduce diet-induced inflammation.

Various sources of cocoa products normally ingested by American consumers will be evaluated for the quantity and diversity of flavonoids. A representative source will be added to an obesogenic diet fed to pigs at levels comparable to human daily intake and flavonoid absorption and derivative molecules will be followed in the urine and serum by metabolomic measurements. The pre-biotic potential of cocoa will be associated with inherent changes in intestinal microbiota, and in combination with probiotic Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains fed to pigs. Changes in inflammatory markers will be measured systemically in the blood and locally by gene expression; immune function and intestinal physiology will be measured using cellular and antibody assays and tissue resistance, respectively.

Last Modified: 05/21/2017
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