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Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Oct;47(10):2499-506. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2009.07.007. Epub 2009 Jul 12.

A diet rich in cocoa attenuates N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced liver injury in rats.

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Department of Metabolism and Nutrition, Instituto del Frío-ICTAN, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


The effects of cocoa feeding against N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN)-induced liver injury were studied in rats. Animals were divided into five groups. Groups 1 and 2 were fed with standard and cocoa-diet, respectively. Groups 3 and 4 were injected with DEN at 2 and 4 weeks, and fed with standard and cocoa-diet, respectively. Group 5 was treated with DEN, received the standard diet for 4 weeks and then it was replaced by the cocoa-diet. DEN-induced hepatic damage caused a significant increase in damage markers, as well as a decrease in the hepatic glutathione, diminished levels of p-ERK and enhanced protein carbonyl content, caspase-3 activity and values of p-AKT and p-JNK. The cocoa-rich diet prevented the reduction of hepatic glutathione concentration and catalase and GPx activities in DEN-injected rats, as well as diminished protein carbonyl content, caspase-3 activity, p-AKT and p-JNK levels, and increased GST activity. However, cocoa administration did not abrogate the DEN-induced body weight loss and the increased levels of hepatic-specific enzymes and LDH. These results suggested that cocoa-rich diet attenuates the DEN-induced liver injury.

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