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The New Science of Cocoa Therapy

Based on the Kuna Indian’s Remarkable Cardio Health

by Staff


The Kuna Indians, who live on the islands of the San Blas archipelago off the Caribbean coast of Panama, have remarkably low blood pressure levels, reduced frequency of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and cancer, and live longer than mainlanders. They show that natural cocoa – rich in the antioxidant flavanol epicatechin – is one of the healthiest foods you can consume. The tribe’s primary beverage is cocoa, and they consume an average of four or five cups each day.

Cocoa Pods

Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Norman Hollenberg, M.D., Ph.D., has studied the Kuna for more than 20 years. His research documents their amazing heart health in contrast to the surrounding population and pinpoints cocoa as the most likely contributor (1). Hollenberg observed that the Kuna, who drink up to 40 cups of natural cocoa per week; have less than 10 percent the incidence of the most common killer diseases of their neighbors on the mainland. Conversely, Kuna who have migrated from the islands to the suburbs of Panama City consume only about four cups of cocoa per week and do not maintain the same level of cardiovascular health.

“If these observations predict the future, then we can say without blushing that they are among the most important observations in the history of medicine,” Hollenberg said. “We all agree that penicillin and anesthesia are enormously important. But, epicatechin could potentially get rid of four of the five most common diseases in the western world.”

Nutrition experts from the Natural Products Association consider cocoa’s antioxidant compound so beneficial to health that it should be considered an essential vitamin (2).

Chris Kilham, ethnobotanist, author and Fox News Channel’s Medicine Hunter, has researched cocoa and its benefits while traveling the world.

“There is no doubt that the Kuna’s unusual resistance to cardiovascular disease is linked to the broad range of potent antioxidants in the cocoa they consume daily,” he said. “The Kuna are living proof that a diet rich in certain antioxidants can help prevent some of the top killer diseases that plague society.”

Kilham says that while eating both cocoa and dark chocolate result in significant health benefits, cocoa supplements are also a great value.

“Because chocolate contains sugar, fat and calories, some people shy away from it,” he said. “An excellent way to gain the heart health results of the Kuna is through pure, organic cocoa supplements like CocoaWell™, which supplies heart-healthy cocoa.”

Kilham says 37 percent of the population, or 111 million Americans, suffer from cardiovascular disease.

“In my opinion, natural cocoa therapy is the next big breakthrough in heart-health science for both prevention and treatment,” Kilham said.


(1) Int J Med Sci 2007;
4:53-58 Does Flavanol Intake Influence Mortality from Nitric Oxide-Dependent Processes? Ischemic Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes Mellitus, and Cancer in Panama http://www.medsci.org/v04p0053.htm

2) ScienceDaily March 12, 2007, Cocoa 'Vitamin' Health Benefits Could Outshine Penicillin http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070311202024.htm


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