Researchers have known for some time that metabolic status and food preferences can vary from person to person and even between different cultures. The recent growth of the new field of proteome research, which focuses on characterizing the structure and function of the complete set of proteins produced by our genes, has allowed scientists to gain a deeper understanding of the metabolic changes that occur when foods are digested, Kochhar says.
Theres a lot of information in metabolism that can be used to improve health and this information is just now being explored and tapped, the researcher says.
In the future, a test for determining ones metabolic type could be performed as part of a blood or urine test during a regular visit to the doctor, Kochhar predicts. But a reliable test to measure ones metabolic type may be five years away, as more research is still needed in this area, he notes.
Women were not included in the current study in order to avoid any metabolic variations linked to the menstrual cycle, which has been shown in studies by others to influence metabolic differences, Kochhar says. But the researchers plan to include women in future clinical trials on metabolic responses to chocolate to determine if there is a gender-specific response to the treat.
In addition to providing a better understanding of individual metabolic types, the current study could also lead to the discovery of additional biomarkers that can identify new health benefits linked to chocolate and other foods, says Kochhar, whose research was funded by Nestl.
|Contact: Michael Bernstein|
American Chemical Society