May Have Cancer-Protective Propertie
Flavanols in fruits, vegetables and other foods have attracted a great deal of interest due to their cancer-protective properties, low toxicity and few adverse side effects.
Cocoa has the highest concentration of flavanols out of all foods per weight and can significantly contribute to their amount in your diet.
Test-tube studies on components of cocoa have found that they have antioxidant effects, protect cells against damage from reactive molecules, fight inflammation, inhibit cell growth, induce cancer cell death and help prevent the spread of cancer cells.
Animal studies using a cocoa-rich diet or cocoa extracts have seen positive results in reducing breast, pancreatic, prostate, liver and colon cancer, as well as leukemia.
Studies in humans have shown that flavanol-rich diets are associated with a decrease in cancer risk. However, the evidence for cocoa specifically is conflicting, as some trials have found no benefit and some have even noticed an increased risk.
Small human studies on cocoa and cancer suggest that it can be a powerful antioxidant and may play a role in cancer prevention. However, much more research is needed (37).