Flavan 3-ols, a type of polyphenolic substance, are distributed in a number of plant foods. Of these foods, chocolate is very rich in flavan 3-ols as flavan 3-ol monomers, (+)-catechin and (-)-epicatechin, and the oligomers as procyanidins. There is evidence that cacao products containing flavan 3-ols have the potential to contribute to the risk reduction of cardiometabolic disorders according to recent epidemiological or intervention studies. This review focuses on recent advances in research on the ability of flavan 3-ols to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as a result of improving metabolic syndrome risk factors and these mechanisms.
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