Dark chocolate modulates platelet function with a mechanism mediated by flavan-3-ol metabolites

Martina Montagnana, Elisa Danese, Donato Angelino, Pedro Mena, Alice Rosi, Marco Benati, Matteo Gelati, Gian Luca Salvagno, Emmanuel J Favaloro, Daniele Del Rio, Giuseppe Lippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
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Cocoa is a rich source bioactive compounds, i.e., flavan-3-ols, and its consumption has been associated with several beneficial effects, such as the positive modulation of the hemostasis targeted by the platelet function. However, these phenolic compounds have a very low bioavailability and extensively undergo phase I and II metabolism, with the appearing into the bloodstream of (epi)catechin conjugates and phenyl-γ-valerolactones and their conjugates, at different times.The aims of this study were to explore the effect of dark chocolate on platelet function and to investigate the relationship between this interplay and flavan-3-ol derived metabolites.Eighteen healthy male volunteers ingested 50 g of 90% cocoa chocolate within 5 minutes. Blood samples were collected immediately before chocolate ingestion (T0) and 4 hours afterwards (T1). Platelet function analyzer (PFA)-100 closure time was assessed using collagen/adenosine-5'-diphosphate (COL/ADP) and collagen/epinephrine (COL/EPI) cartridges. Plasma flavan-3-ol metabolites were identified and quantified by means of liquid chromatography coupled to a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer (UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS).Results evidenced a significant increase of COL/ADP-induced PFA-100 closure time, but not COL/EPI, 4 hours after ingestion of dark chocolate. Total plasma structurally-related (epi)catechin metabolite (SREM) concentration significantly increased at T1, together with 4 out of the 6 detected metabolites. Total phenyl-γ-valerolactone concentrations remained unchanged. Spearman correlations evidenced a strong correlation between COL/ADP closure time and SREMs, mainly led by (epi)catechin-sulfate isomers.These data confirm that the potential beneficial effect of dark chocolate on primary hemostasis may be mediated by flavan-3-ol circulating metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e13432
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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