Manchester Evening News, 12/ 3/2007
A COMPOUND found in cocoa could reduce the risk from killer diseases such as cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart failure.
Norman Hollenberg, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said the compound epicatechin had been shown to have huge health benefits.
He has spent years studying the benefits of cocoa-drinking on the Kuna people in Panama, central America, Chemistry and Industry magazine reported.
He found the risk of the four diseases was less than 10 per cent there. The people drink up to 40 cups a week of cocoa which has high levels of epicatechin.
Prof Hollenberg said: "We all agree that penicillin and anaesthesia are enormously important. But epicatechin could potentially get rid of four of the five most common diseases in the western world.
"How important does that make epicatechin? I would say very important."