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J Sci Food Agric. 2012 Aug 30;92(11):2349-57. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.5637. Epub 2012 Mar 19.

The effect of cocoa, soy, oats and fish oil on metabolic syndrome in rats.

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Graduados e Investigación en Alimentos, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Carpio y Plan de Ayala s/n Col. Casco de Santo Tomás, México, DF, Mexico.



The effect of functional foods alone or in combination (cocoa + soy + oats + fish oil) on hepatic damage in rats affected with metabolic syndrome was investigated.


Rats that were given cocoa showed a decrease in the levels of triglycerides (TGs) and glucose (63 and 32% respectively) as well as a decrease in blood pressure (15%). Animals fed with soy showed a reduction of 21% in total cholesterol, 15% in blood pressure and 44% in TGs, while feeding oats reduced the concentration of TGs by 53% (P < 0.5). Fish oil caused a reduction in TGs (56%) and glucose (26%). The effect on blood pressure was statistically significant for the groups supplemented with cocoa, soy, cocoa + oats and the total mix. The main finding was a reduction in liver steatosis in animals supplemented with cocoa + oats (from 30 to 4.7% steatosis). Cocoa or fish oil alone did not protect the liver from damage, while cocoa + fish oil did.


The most relevant effects were that the cocoa + oats mix decreased steatosis by a very large percentage, as did the cocoa + fish oil mix and the mix of all four functional foods.

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