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Daily chocolate consumption is inversely associated with insulin resistance and liver enzymes in the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg study

  • Ala’a Alkerwi (a1), Nicolas Sauvageot (a1), Georgina E. Crichton (a1) (a2), Merrill F. Elias (a3) (a4) and Saverio Stranges (a1) (a5)...
Abstract
Abstract

This study examined the association of chocolate consumption with insulin resistance and serum liver enzymes in a national sample of adults in Luxembourg. A random sample of 1153 individuals, aged 18–69 years, was recruited to participate in the cross-sectional Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg study. Chocolate consumption (g/d) was obtained from a semi-quantitative FFQ. Blood glucose and insulin levels were used for the homoeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Hepatic biomarkers such as serum γ-glutamyl-transpeptidase (γ-GT), serum aspartate transaminase and serum alanine transaminase (ALT) (mg/l) were assessed using standard laboratory assays. Chocolate consumers (81·8 %) were more likely to be younger, physically active, affluent people with higher education levels and fewer chronic co-morbidities. After excluding subjects taking antidiabetic medications, higher chocolate consumption was associated with lower HOMA-IR (β=−0·16, P=0·004), serum insulin levels (β=−0·16, P=0·003) and γ-GT (β=−0·12, P=0·009) and ALT (β=−0·09, P=0·004), after adjustment for age, sex, education, lifestyle and dietary confounding factors, including intakes of fruits and vegetables, alcohol, polyphenol-rich coffee and tea. This study reports an independent inverse relationship between daily chocolate consumption and levels of insulin, HOMA-IR and liver enzymes in adults, suggesting that chocolate consumption may improve liver enzymes and protect against insulin resistance, a well-established risk factor for cardiometabolic disorders. Further observational prospective research and well-designed randomised-controlled studies are needed to confirm this cross-sectional relationship and to comprehend the role and mechanisms that different types of chocolate may play in insulin resistance and cardiometabolic disorders.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: A. Alkerwi, fax +352 26 970 719, email alaa.alkerwi@lih.lu
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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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