Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, announces the results of a recent clinical trial into the anti-aging properties of ACTICOA® cocoa and chocolate. The study, conducted by Skin Investigation and Technology (SIT) research centre in Hamburg, Germany, demonstrates that consuming 300mg of cocoa flavanols twice a day significantly increases the elasticity of the skin.
Hans Vriens, chief innovation officer at Barry Callebaut says: “The impressive results of this study add further weight to the anti-aging properties of ACTICOA cocoa and chocolate, one of the richest known sources of flavanols. We are now closer to understanding how these flavanols nourish the skin from the inside and protect it against damaging environmental influences such as exposure to the sun.”
In this most recent long-term, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study, the potential effect of an oral supplement based on cocoa flavanols on skin elasticity was investigated with a non-invasive topical device. 30 participants were allocated to either the cocoa flavanol group or the placebo group over a period of six months. Subjects in the cocoa flavanol group were given two cocoa extract supplements per day, each containing 300mg of cocoa flavanols, while the volunteers from the placebo group were given two tablets in which the cocoa extract was replaced by microcrystalline cellulose.
The tests revealed a significant and sustained improvement in skin elasticity among participants from the cocoa flavanol group of up to 34% after six months. Even when adjusted for the natural improvement in elasticity commonly observed between winter and summer months, the net increase in this group was still 12.5% higher than in the placebo group after six months. The changes in the dermal skin layer is what causes our skin to lose its elasticity and form wrinkles. The oral intake of cocoa extract, as a natural source of cocoa flavanols, seems to be a promising alternative to existing skin creams aimed at improving elasticity. The consumption of two times 300mg flavanols a day on a continuous basis helps you to maintain a good skin elasticity when consumed as part of a balanced and varied diet and a healthy lifestyle. This positive effect of cocoa flavanols is most likely related to deeper (dermal) changes, which take longer to have a visible effect.
“The results are comparable with those achieved by leading cosmetics products. The difference here, however, is that the effect comes from ‘within’ and is consequently observed over the whole body,” says Dr Joachim Degwert, president SIT (Skin Investigation and Technology Hamburg).
Along with decreased hydration of the epidermis, decrease in elasticity is one of the phenomena most commonly associated with aging skin. A less elastic skin is also typically seen in heavy smokers. The improvement of elasticity observed in this recent study is thought to result from the activity of antioxidant flavanols contained in ACTICOA cocoa and chocolate on the elastic fibres within the dermis or deep skin layer. This recent study is part of mounting evidence of the anti-aging properties of ACTICOA offering beauty from within thanks to the natural goodness of the cocoa bean.
Barry Callebaut’s unique ACTICOA process is the outcome of years of research into ways of preserving cocoa flavanols in chocolate. Scientifically proven to be the most powerful antioxidants in existence with wide-ranging benefits for human health, cocoa flavanols are nonetheless mostly destroyed during the conventional chocolate-making process. ACTICOA chocolate, however, succeeds in preserving up to 80% of the flavanol content of raw cocoa and is thus the richest known source of antioxidants.