Cocoa seeds and chocolate products interaction with gut microbiota; mining microbial and functional biomarkers from mechanistic studies, clinical trials and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing

Second Author's Department

Chemistry Department

Third Author's Department

Chemistry Department

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Critical reviews in food science and nutrition

Publication Date





In recent years, gut microbiome has evolved as a focal point of interest with growing recognition that a well-balanced gut microbiota is highly relevant to an individual's health status. The present review provides a mechanistic insight on the effects of cocoa chemicals on the gut microbiome and further reveals biomarkers, taxonomic and functional features that distinguish gut microbiome of cocoa consumers and controls by using 16S rRNA gene sequencing data. The polyphenols in cocoa can change the gut microbiota either by inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the gut such as or by increasing the growth of beneficial microbiota in the gut such as and This paper demonstrates the holistic effect of gut microbiota on cocoa chemicals and how it impacts human health. We present herein the first comprehensive review and analysis of how raw and roasted cocoa and its products can specifically influence gut homeostasis, and likewise, how microbiota metabolizes cocoa chemicals. In addition to that, our 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing analysis revealed that the flavone and flavonols metabolism, aminobenzoate degradation and fatty acid elongation pathways represent the three most important signatures of microbial functions associated with cocoa consumption.

First Page


Last Page