Chronic Consumption of Cocoa Rich in Procyanidins Has a Marginal Impact on Gut Microbiota and on Serum and Fecal Metabolomes in Male Endurance Athletes.
Abstract: Cocoa is used in the sports world as a supplement, although there is no consensus on its use. We investigated the effect of cocoa intake on intestinal ischemia (intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP)), serum lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels, gastrointestinal symptoms, and gut microbiota in endurance athletes during their training period on an unrestricted diet. We also performed a metabolomics analysis of serum and feces after a bout of exercise before and after supplementation. Cocoa consumption had no effect on I-FABP, LPS, or gastrointestinal symptoms. Cocoa intake significantly increased the abundance of Blautia and Lachnospira genera and decreased the abundance of the Agathobacter genus, which was accompanied by elevated levels of polyphenol fecal metabolites 4-hydroxy-5-(phenyl)-valeric acid and O-methyl-epicatechin-O-glucuronide. Our untargeted approach revealed that cocoa had no significant effects on serum and fecal metabolites and that its consumption had little impact on the metabolome after a bout of physical exercise.
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