Health and Nutrition Benefits of Cocoa Powder

Health and Nutrition Benefits of Cocoa Powder


Cocoa powder is made from roasted cocoa beans, by crushing them and removing the fat or cocoa butter. It has been used for centuries in various forms such as beverages, chocolates, and desserts. It is a rich source of polyphenols, flavonoids, and anti-oxidants.Cocoa powder is a nutrient-dense food that contains a high concentration of minerals. It also has the following health and nutrition benefits: Rich in Polyphenols That Provide Several Health Benefits: Polyphenols are naturally occurring antioxidants found in foods like fruits, vegetables, tea, chocolate and wine.Polyphenols offer numerous health benefits, that include reduced inflammation, better blood flow, lower blood pressure and improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In one randomized research experiment, forty-two individuals were given 40 grams of cocoa powder each day for four weeks. They had significant increases in HDL and significant decreases in oxidized LDL levels. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is protective against cardiovascular risk, but oxidized LDL is a substantial risk factor. Cocoa is one of the richest sources of polyphenols. It also has an abundance of flavanols, that have potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. However, processing and heating cocoa can cause it to lose its beneficial properties. It’s also often treated with alkaline to reduce bitterness, which results in a 60% decrease in flavanol content.So while cocoa is a great source of polyphenols, not all products containing cocoa will provide the same benefits. Helps Prevent High Blood Pressure by Improving Nitric Oxide Levels Cocoa, both in its powdered form and in the form of dark chocolate, may be able to help lower blood pressure. The flavanols in cocoa are believed to improve nitric oxide levels in the blood, which can enhance the function of the blood vessels and reduce blood pressure.

In an analysis of over 35 experiments that gave patients 0.05–3.7 ounces (1.4–105 grams) of products containing cocoa or approximately 30–1,218 mg of flavanols, it was significantly discovered that cocoa generated a minor but significant drop in blood pressure of 2 mmHg. Furthermore, the effect was more substantial in persons who already had high blood pressure than in those who did not and in older adults compared to younger people. However, it’s crucial to realize that processing dramatically reduces the number of flavanols, so the effects are unlikely to be observed in the ordinary chocolate bar that is manufactured after heavy processing. Lowers the Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke as well as Improves Heart Health Cocoa seems to have other qualities that not only decrease blood pressure, but also help lessen the chances of a heart attack or stroke risk. For example, flavanol-rich cocoa improves the level of nitric oxide in the blood, which relaxes and dilates the arteries and blood vessels as well as improves blood flow . Additionally, cocoa lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol, acts similarly to aspirin in blood thinning, improves blood sugar control, and reduces inflammation. These characteristics reduce the risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. A review of nine research studies demonstrates that increasing the consumption of chocolate may considerably reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and mortality. Furthermore, two Swedish studies have discovered that consuming up to one serving of 0.7–1.1 ounces (19–30 grams) of chocolate per day may decrease the risk of heart failure. These findings imply that consuming small amounts of cocoa-rich chocolate frequently may benefit the heart. Polyphenols Improve Blood Flow to Your Brain and Brain Function Several studies have found that polyphenols, such as those in cocoa, may reduce your risk of neurodegenerative diseases by improving brain functioning and blood flow. Flavanols can pass the blood-brain barrier and are involved in the metabolic processes in the body that are responsible for producing neurons and other critical molecules. These help improve the cognitive functioning of the brain, including memory, attention and reaction time. Furthermore, flavanols stimulate the synthesis of nitric oxide, which relaxes the blood vessel muscles, increasing blood flow and blood supply to the brain. A two-week trial conducted on 34 older adults on high-flavanol cocoa found that after one week, blood flow to the brain rose by 8% and by 10% after two weeks. Additional experiments and studies have indicated that daily consumption of cocoa flavanols may help improve the mental performance in both healthy and mentally impaired individuals. These studies suggest that cocoa has a beneficial influence on brain health and may positively affect neuro-degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Improves Mood and Symptoms of Depression by Various Means Cocoa also helps improve mood and symptoms of depression. In addition, it also has favourable and positive impact on age-related mental deterioration and degeneration. According to one research, increased chocolate consumption during pregnancy leads to less stress and improved mood in infants. Furthermore, another experiment has revealed that consuming chocolate with high polyphenol content can enhance the feelings of calm and happiness. Likewise, another research of elderly males revealed that chocolate consumption was associated with improved general health and psychological well-being. The flavanols and caffeine concentration contribute to its mood enhancement properties. In addition, it helps convert tryptophan to the natural mood stabilizer serotonin. You may also experience the sensory pleasure of eating chocolate. All these factors contribute to its good mood benefits While the results of these early studies are promising, more research on the effect of cocoa on mood and depression are needed before more definite conclusions can be drawn. Flavanols May Improve Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes While excessive chocolate intake is undoubtedly detrimental to blood sugar regulation, cocoa does offer some anti-diabetic properties and may help improve symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Test tube research indicates that cocoa flavanols inhibit carbohydrate digestion and absorption in the stomach. In addition, they help increase the production of insulin, reduce inflammation, and hasten transport of sugar from the circulation into the muscle. Few other experiments have also demonstrated that enhancing your consumption of flavanols, especially those found in cocoa, may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, a review of another human research found that eating dark chocolate or cocoa high in flavanols can help improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar management and reduce inflammation in both diabetic and non-diabetic individuals. Nonetheless, these findings, together with more substantial evidence of its benefits on heart health, suggest that cocoa polyphenols may benefit both preventing and managing diabetes. Helps in Weight Control Somewhat paradoxically, consumption of cocoa, even if it is in the form of chocolate, may help you control your weight. It aids in weight loss by controlling energy consumption, lowering hunger and inflammation. In addition, it also accelerates fat oxidation and feelings of fullness. According to population study, people who consumed chocolate more regularly had a lower BMI than others. Although the former group ingested more calories and fat, they had a lower BMI. Additionally, weight-loss experiments involving low-carbohydrate diets discovered that a group of people consuming 42 grams of 81% cocoa chocolate per day lost weight more quickly than a group of people on a standard diet. So, overall, it is safe to deduce and infer that cocoa and cocoa-rich products may help reduce or maintain weight, but further studies are required. May Have Cancer-Protective Properties Flavanols in fruits, vegetables and other foods have cancer protective properties, are low in toxicity, and have few side effects. Cocoa has the highest concentration of flavanols out of all foods per weight and can significantly contribute to their amount in your diet, so consuming it may help protect from cancer. Test-tube studies on components of cocoa have indicated that they have antioxidant effects, protect cells against damage from reactive molecules, fight inflammation, inhibit cell growth, induce cancer cell death and help prevent the spread of cancer cells. Animal studies of a cocoa-rich diet or cocoa extracts given to them have shown positive results in reducing breast, pancreatic, prostate, liver and colon cancer, as well as leukemia. Studies in humans have showed that flavanol-rich diets are associated with a reduction in the risk of cancer. However, this is a conflicting evidence for cocoa specifically, as some trials have inferred that cocoa has absolutely no benefit and some have even indicated that on the contrary cocoa may increase the risk of cancer. Small studies on humans have indicated that since cocoa is a very potent antioxidant, and has anti-cancer properties so it may play a role in prevention of cancer, particularly in reducing the risk of colon cancer. However, much more research is needed to substantiate this. Theobromine and Theophylline Contents May Be Beneficial in Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory illness that causes blockage and inflammation in the airway in our body and can be life-threatening. Cocoa may be beneficial for people with asthma, as it contains anti-asthmatic compounds, such as theobromine and theophylline. Theobromine, which is comparable to caffeine, may help with persistent and chronic coughing. For example, 1.9 grams of theobromine is present in 100 grams (3.75 ounces) of cocoa powder. Theophylline widens your lungs, relaxes your airways and reduces inflammation. In addition, the cocoa extract is known to reduce both airway constriction and tissue thickness in animal experiments. However, these findings have not yet been clinically tested on humans, and it’s unclear if cocoa is safe to use with other anti-asthmatic drugs. Therefore, even though this is an interesting area of development, it’s too early to say how cocoa may be used in treating asthma. Antibacterial and Immune-Stimulating Properties May Benefit Your Teeth and Skin Cocoa has innumerable antibacterial, anti-enzymatic, and immune-stimulating chemicals and properties that may contribute to its beneficial effects on oral and dental health by protecting against dental cavities and gum disease. In one research animals infected with oral bacteria who were given cocoa extract, exhibited a substantial reduction in dental cavities compared to those given only water. Contrary to common belief, cocoa in chocolate does not promote acne. Instead, cocoa polyphenols provide considerable skin advantages. For example, cocoa consumption on a long-term basis demonstrates increased UV protection, better blood circulation, and surface smoothness and moisture. However, there are no significant human studies, and the majority of cocoa products consumed by humans also contain sugar. As a result, new products will need to be developed to experience the oral health benefits of cocoa. How to Include Cocoa in Your Diet 1. Consume dark chocolate While consuming dark chocolate ensure that it is high quality and comprises at least 70% cocoa to get the best results. 2. Smoothies Add cocoa to your favourite healthy smoothie recipe to enhance its chocolate flavor and more particularly health benefits . 3. Puddings You can add raw cocoa powder (not Dutch) to homemade puddings such as chia breakfast puddings or rice pudding. 4. Hot/cold Cocoa Make a chocolate milkshake, by combining Cocoa with your choice of dairy or nondairy milk. 5. Vegan chocolate mousse For a decadent vegan chocolate mousse, combine avocado, Cocoa, almond milk, and a sweetener such as dates. 6. Sprinkle over fruit Cocoa is delicious even when sprinkled on bananas or strawberries and eaten. 7. Granola bars Add cocoa to enhance the health benefits and flavour of your favourite granola bar recipe. Conclusion Cocoa has been tickling our taste buds for thousands of years and is a big part of modern day cuisine in the form of chocolate. It has many health benefits like decreased inflammation, improved heart and brain health, controlling blood sugar and weight as well as good oral health and skin. It’s nutritious and can be easily and creatively added to your diet to make sumptuous delicacies. However, if you want to maximize health benefits then make sure that you use non-alkalized cocoa powder or dark chocolate containing more than 70% cocoa. Remember that chocolate still contains significant amount of sugar and fats, so if you’re going to use it, consume it prudently by sticking to reasonable portion sizes and combining it with a healthy balanced diet.  

What are the most Powerful Active Ingredient Combos for your Skin?



The super-powered ingredients that make a skincare product effective are known as Actives in skincare. They specifically address the skin concern the product is meant to target. These active ingredients are usually ingredients that have a scientific basis for their activity that has been sunstantiated and proven by usage. Some of these active ingredients are also regulated by the FDA For example, on sunscreens, you can find a “Drug Facts” label stating the active ingredients, directions and safety information.


  • • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
  • • Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)
  • • Ceramides
  • • Hyaluronic acid
  • • Niacinamide
  • • Retinoidss
  • • Antioxidants
  • • SPF

THE MOST POWERFUL ACTIVE INGREDIENT COMBOS FOR YOUR SKIN Get the most out of your targeted treatments, boosters and serums with the most powerful active ingredient combinations below: VITAMIN C + FERULIC ACID Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the growth, development, and repair of body tissues. It is also one of the most powerful antioxidants. It protects the skin from things like UV rays, dirt and pollution, and free radicals. It helps to boost collagen production and reduce visible signs of ageing, brighten and even out skin tone. But the most potent forms of vitamin C are often the most unstable. That makes them vulnerable to light, heat, and air. Ferulic acid is a phenolic compound found in plants such as rice, wheat and oat. It is also a potent antioxidant. When combined with vitamin C, it is known to enhance stability and effectiveness of vitamin C, allowing it to penetrate the skin more effectively and provide greater antioxidant protection. It also increases its photo-protection too, so that it doesn’t vanish into the air. Ferulic acid also helps to fights free radicals to prevent and correct skin damage, and extends the life and effectiveness of vitamin C. VITAMIN C + VITAMIN E Vitamin C and vitamin E both work by negating free radical damage, but each combats different types of UV damage. When paired together, they work synergistically to enhance their antioxidant properties. Vitamin C helps regenerate Vitamin E when it becomes oxidized, and Vitamin E protects Vitamin C from oxidation, allowing it to remain active for longer periods of time. This means that these antioxidants are more effective in preventing photo damage than either alone. This powerful combo gives your skin the ammunition to fight double the damage from free radicals and sun damage. VITAMIN C + VITAMIN E + FERULIC ACID Vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid are the best of all worlds, offering triple the protection power. You are already aware as mentioned above that vitamin C and E work in tandem to undo damage from the sun. Ferulic acid is a plant derived anti-oxidant that has been proven to enhance stability and effectiveness of both Vitamin C and Vitamin E when used together. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and also helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and sun damage. And when used in combination with Vitamin C and Vitamin E, Ferulic acid is the ultimate active ingredient combo for fighting UV damage. More often Vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid are combined in skin care products due to their complementary benefits for the skin. Together they not only provide powerful anti-oxidant protection for the skin, but also help to improve its overall appearance and texture. HYALURONIC ACID + VITAMIN C Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid are two popular ingredients in the skincare industry. They offer unique benefits that keep your skin healthy and youthful. Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that naturally occurs in our body and is known for its ability to retain moisture. It can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, making it an excellent skin hydrating ingredient. With age our body’s natural production of hyaluronic acid reduces that leads to appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Using vitamin C and hyaluronic acid together in your skincare routine is the quickest way to get bright, balanced skin. These actives work together to hydrate, brighten and protect your skin leading to a more youthful and radiant complexion. It smoothens your skin texture, and visibly reduce fine lines. If you’re using them in the form of two different products, apply your vitamin C serum before your hyaluronic acid serum. RETINOIDS + PEPTIDES Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A and are renowned for their capability to increase cell turn over, promote collagen production, and improve skin texture as well as tone. They are effective in reducing appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. They can also unclog pores and prevent acne breakouts. Peptides on the other hand are short chains of amino acids that stimulates collagen production and help to firm and tighten skin. They also improve skin hydration and help reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Some peptides like copper peptides are also known to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protects skin from damage caused by free radicals. Using retinoids and peptides together is another powerhouse skincare combo. You get the collagen building effects of the retinoid, while it works to improve the penetration of the peptide cream. This helps improve skin’s firmness. Plus, many peptide creams contain emollients, or hydrating ingredients, to counteract the irritating side effects from the retinoid. Use the retinol serum first, then top it with the peptide cream. Moreover it is also important to wear sunscreen during the day, as retinoids can increase your skins sensitivity to sun. ANTIOXIDANTS AND SPF Anti-oxidant and SPF are both important components for your skincare, as they provide protection to your skin from different types of damages. Antioxidants are substances that protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals, which are molecules that can cause oxidative stress and lead to premature aging of your skin. Some common anti-oxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea extracts, and niacinamide are used in skin care. These anti-oxidants help to neutralize the free radicals preventing them from causing skin damage. SPF or sun protection factor, is a measure of how well a product protects your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays. These UV radiation can cause damage to the skin, including sunburn, premature aging and increased risk of skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen 365 days per year, rain or shine, is arguably the most important thing you can do for your skin health. And while antioxidants can’t take the place of a preventive SPF, they can make it work harder. Research shows that the combination of vitamins E, C, and sunscreen increases the effectiveness of your sun protection. Antioxidants work to scavenge damaging free radicals, acting as a second line of defense and extra layer of protection. This is a powerful active ingredient combo in the fight against both the visible signs of aging and skin cancer. RETINOIDS + HYALURONIC ACID Retinoids help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging. They work by promoting cell turnover and increasing collagen production which helps improve texture and tone of the skin. Hyaluronic acid on the other hand is a naturally occurring substance of our body that helps our skin hydrated and plump. It offers great moisturizing and anti-aging benefits. It was previously presumed that applying a moisturizer before a retinoid would render the latter inactive. But we now know this isn’t the case. Retinoids are infamous for being harsh on the skin. They can cause discomfort, irritation, redness, flaking, and extreme dryness. This is where the hydrating attributes of hyaluronic acid help greatly. Pairing a retinoid with a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum is actually a great combination. Apply a light layer of the hyaluronic acid cream or serum first, followed by a pea-sized amount of the retinoid. NIACINAMIDE + VITAMIN C Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 is a water soluble vitamin that has proven to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone. It also helps strengthen the skins barrier function, which leads to better hydration and less sensitivity. On the other hand Vitamin C protects the skin from free radical damage caused by environmental factors like pollution and UV radiation. It also helps reduce appearance of dark spots as well as brighten and improve the overall skin tone. There was once a misconception that niacinamide couldn’t be mixed with vitamin C. However, they don’t render each other less effective — they actually form a powerhouse duo. Using niacinamide in conjunction with a vitamin C serum will leave skin looking more radiant and noticeably younger-looking. Additionally, niacinamide also helps reduce any potential irritation or sensitivity caused by using vitamin C. Niacinamide can be applied both in the morning and at night, whereas vitamin C is most effective when applied in the morning. ACTIVE INGREDIENT COMBINATIONS TO BE CAUTIOUS OF The following active ingredient combinations that require caution and monitoring. RETINOIDS + SKIN ACIDS When used together retinoids and skin acids increase skin sensitivity and potentally cause irritation, dryness, redness and even peeling. If you do want to use both active ingredients, use the acids in the morning and save the retinoid for evening. Or, use them on different days. If you want to use them together then it is prudent to introduce them gradually in to your skin care routine, starting with low concentration, and using them on alternate days to let your skin get used to them. RETINOIDS + VITAMIN C Both retinoids and vitamin C are beneficial for certain skin types and concerns like reducing fine lines and wrinkles as well as improving overall skin tone and texture. But using retinoids in combination with vitamin C can cause over exfoliation. This can result in increased skin and sun sensitivity. Separate these two active ingredients in your skincare routine. Use one in the daytime and one in the nighttime or use them on alternate days to allow your skin to adjust to each product. BENZOYL PEROXIDE + VITAMIN C This active ingredient combination nullifies the effectiveness of both the ingredients and makes them useless. The benzoyl peroxide will oxidize the vitamin C. Its best to use these two ingredients separately and that too on alternative days. BENZOYL PEROXIDE + RETINOL Just like with vitamin C, mixing benzoyl peroxide with retinol does not work. These two ingredients deactivate each other. If you are using both it is advisable to use them on alternate days for best results. BETA HYDROXY ACID + ALPHA HYDROXY ACID It’s best not to use products with beta hydroxyl acid and alpha hydroxyl acid together. Salicylic acid is the most common BHA; glycolic and lactic acid are popular AHAs. BHAs and AHAs aren’t meant for layering. But they can work together only if they’re formulated and blended correctly. Look for a product that contains both, rather than layering them as separate products. The specially formulated products are aimed at minimizing irritation. WHEN TO APPLY YOUR ACTIVE INGREDIENTS ACTIVES TO USE IN YOUR MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE How you cleanse in the morning is your personal choice. Atoner and any of your favorite hydrating products like hyaluronic acid can be applied at any time of day. But there are a couple active ingredients that are best used in the morning. These include: Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and other SPF ingredients. Whatever your preferred sunscreen, it’s best that you apply it in the morning. Your SPF should be applied as the final step before your makeup. Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. You can technically apply vitamin C at any time of the day, but you’ll make the most of its benefits if you use it in the morning. Because vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, it shields your skin from free radicals and sun damage. ACTIVES TO USE IN YOUR NIGHTTIME ROUTINE A double cleanse is recommend in your nighttime routine, especially if you are a regular makeup wearer. Start with a micellar water to wipe off the makeup and oil build-up. After this first cleanse is done to remove all impurities, use a face wash. Always wash upwards and outwards in order to get a deeper cleanse. Next, you can apply a serum, treatment or cream with an active ingredient that works best overnight. Retinoids: are generally best applied at night since the sun can break down the ingredient rendering it less potent. Vitamin C and retinol also shouldn’t be mixed, so it’s best to use one in the morning and one in the evening. Finally, using retinol at night allows you to combine it with a heavier cream to reduce irritation. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), like glycolic and lactic acid are also best effective when used at night. This is because they can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. It’s ideal to use an AHA only two to four times per week, and that too depending upon their potency. Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide should be reserved for nighttime use. Similar to other acids, BHAs can cause sensitivity with over use or when combined with other exfoliating ingredients. Conclusion: Make your skincare routine as effective as possible and your products work even harder for you. Step up your knowledge of active ingredients, by knowing and following the do’s and don’ts. Knowing active ingredients that work well together and those that don’t! you’ll see your best skin results yet!

Medium Chain Triglycerides (Mcts) – Uses and Side Effects

Medium Chain Triglycerides (Mcts) – Uses and Side Effects


Medium chain triglycerides is a medical food made in a lab and is derived from fatty acids, coconuts and safflower or palm kernel oils, a polyunsaturated fat. Typical dietary fats are called long-chain triglycerides Medium chain triglycerides is for dietary use in people whose bodies cannot digest certain foods or fats properly. This includes people who are gluten or lactose intolerant, or who have unintended weight loss or need increased calories for other medical reasons. These fats might also improve weight loss because the body can more easily break them down into molecules called ketone bodies. These ketone bodies can be used for energy. Medium chain triglycerides does not contain protein or carbohydrates. People use MCTs for involuntary weight loss called cachexia or wasting syndrome. MCTs are also used for obesity, seizures, athletic performance, Alzheimer disease, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these other uses.

What is Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) used for? • Dietary Supplement Effectiveness of MCT MCT is possibly effective for • Involuntary weight loss: in people who are very ill with cachexia or wasting syndrome. Giving MCTs by IV provides calories in critically ill patients. But they don’t seem to work any better than normal dietary fats or long chain triglycerides. IV products can only be given by a healthcare provider. • A quick energy boost: As an easily digestible fat, MCT provides a quick burst of energy after being consumed. This is because some properties of MCT allow it to bypass some of your body’s normal absorption process. • Improve athletic performance: MCT is a proven performance…atleast in a research on mice. This is based on the fact that the mouse-based study noted that its findings were consistent with results of a research that gave frail elderly adults MCT and other supplements. • Optimized digestion and improved gut health: Our digestive system has a large population of healthy bacteria that help us strengthen the gut barrier and prevent the invasion of dangerous microorganisms. MCT has been shown to promote the growth of these bacteria. This helps to optimize digestion and prevent digestive problems such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. • Improved brain function: Ketones from MCT breakdown can serve as an energy source for the brain. There are claims that it makes the mind sharper, although this was only demonstrated in people with cognitive disorders.MCT oil has been reported to impact brain function, particularly learning and memory. In a pilot study conducted on Alzheimer’s disease patients, researchers found that MCT oil increased cognitive function in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. However, due to limitations in the study, the result might not be dependable. Hence, further studies are needed. • Improved heart health by lowering cholesterol: Research results on the effect of MCT on cholesterol levels have shown that it may decrease the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), known as bad cholesterol and increase the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), the good cholesterol. MCT is possibly ineffective for • Involuntary weight loss in people with HIV/AIDS. Taking MCTs orally doesn’t prevent weight loss in people with HIV infection. There is interest in using MCTs for a number of other purposes also, but there isn’t enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful. Side Effects of MCT When taken orally: MCTs are likely safe. They can cause stomach upset, including diarrhea and vomiting especially at higher doses. When applied to the skin: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if MCTs are safe or what the side effects might be. Special Precautions and Warnings When taken orally: MCTs are likely safe. They can cause stomach upset, including diarrhea and vomiting especially at higher doses. When applied to the skin: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if MCTs are safe or what the side effects might be. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if MCTs are safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use. Diabetes: MCTs can cause certain chemicals called ketones to build up in the body. This can be a problem for people with diabetes. Avoid using MCTs if you have diabetes. Liver problems: Because MCTs are processed by the liver, they can cause serious problems in people with liver disease. Do not use MCTs if you have liver problems. What is the most important information you should know about Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT)?

Anyone who has ever had an allergic reaction to medium chain triglycerides should not use MCT. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use MCT if you have any type of severe liver problems such as:

  • • cirrhosis or other liver disease;
  • • high blood pressure inside the liver;
  • • brain or nervous system complications caused by severe liver damage; or
  • • if you have had a “portacaval shunt” placed in your body.

Dosing MCTs have most often been used by adults in doses of 6-56 grams by mouth daily for up to 24 weeks. But speaking with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

What happens if you miss a dose? Since MCT is used only when needed, you are not likely to be on a dosing schedule. What happens if you overdose? An overdose of medium chain triglycerides is not likely to cause life-threatening symptoms. Conclusion: MCT when used in recommended doses by a medical practitioner, is beneficial. But its overdose can have harmful effect on our body

What Is Whey Protein Concentrate and How Is it Made?

What is Whey Protein Concentrate?


Whey protein powder or concentrate is a by-product of the cheese-making industry. Cow’s milk, naturally consists of two main types of protein, casein and whey, at respective ratios of 80% and 20%. During the cheese-making process, the cheese makers heat milk to kill unwanted bacteria and then add an acid (often lemon juice or vinegar) to it. This splits the milk into curds and liquid whey. When the curd is removed, the liquid that remains is called whey. Whey protein concentrate is that liquid. Whey concentrate is mostly protein with minimal fats, carbohydrates, and lactose. It’s special because it contains a lot of precious bioactive compounds, which give whey its immune-boosting and antioxidant benefits. Whey then undergoes a multi-step filtering and drying process to be turned into protein powder.

Generally, 100L of milk produces about 12 kg of cheese or about 3 kg of casein. The Benefits of Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey protein is excellent for muscle growth and repair. That’s why bodybuilders and athletes love it. But whey protein concentrate offers many other benefits:

  • ● Whey is a complete protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids
  • ● It is easy to digest and the body can absorb it quickly
  • ● Whey is one of the few proteins that are bioavailable, which makes it an exceptionally valuable source of protein.
  • ● It increases muscle mass and reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease with fewer side effects
  • ● Food and beverage manufacturers use whey protein concentrate (WPC) to:
    • ○ Increase protein levels
    • ○ Help reduce fat and calories
    • ○ Improve texture
    • ○ Replace milk, cream, butter, oil, eggs and fresh dairy
    • ○ Save money
    • ● Whey protein decreases cravings for sweets and snacks. It reduces blood sugar spikes by about 20% after a carb-rich meal. Stable blood sugar makes you far less likely to crave unhealthy food.
    • ● Eases stress and boosts immunity. Whey contains precious enzymes and cofactors that increase your body’s strongest anti-oxidant-glutathione, which protects your cells from stress. It also boosts your immune system.

Whey protein isolate (WPI) contains the highest amounts of protein which is why it is often used in sports nutrition in the form of whey protein supplements, protein shakes and beverages as well as protein bars.

Whey protein concentrate (WPC) also contains protein, but not at the high levels found in WPI. It is valued for its ability to replace ingredients like fresh dairy and eggs in soups, sauces, bakery and other applications, and maintain creaminess and flavour. How is Whey Protein Made? From cows grazing in the lush pastures to flavoured protein blend canisters delivered to your door, let’s dive deeper into each step of how whey protein powder is made. 1. Cow’s milk: Whey protein is an animal-based product obtained from the dairy industry. Fresh milk is collected from cows. In its raw state, cow milk contains about 5% lactose, 4% fat and 3.5% protein. 2. Transport: Cooled milk is then transferred in large refrigerated tanks to the nearest factory. 3. Pasteurization: Fresh cow milk contains bacteria that can be harmful to humans. It needs to be pasteurized before it is ready for consumption. To kill pathogens, the milk is briefly heated to a high temperature (~73°C) and then cooled rapidly. The important nutrients in milk are not affected by this heat, but only bacteria are removed during the process. After pasteurization, the milk obtained has 20 % whey and 80 % casein and is ready for a transformation. 4. Milk Separation: Enzymes such as Chymosin are added to the pasteurized milk to alter the casein micelle structure and make the milk curdle. The major part of the milk turns into curds. This solid part of milk is then used as the base product for manufacturing different types of cheeses. The remaining liquid part is whey. 5. Micro-filtration: Liquid whey is then sent to be filtered into high-protein liquid whey. During this stage, whey goes through further purification to remove fats, carbohydrates and water. In a protein manufacturing plant, liquid whey is filtered through multiple ceramic micro-filters. This process happens in a cold environment and is completely natural. This process removes most fat and lactose from the liquid whey. The resulting product is the base of whey protein concentrate. 6. Ultra-filtration (for WPI only): Whey concentrate is then further ultra-filtered to make whey protein isolate. Working by size exclusion, the ultra-filtration membrane lets the lactose-rich solution go but retains the larger whey complex. At this stage, virtually all fat and lactose are removed from the whey. 7. Spray Drying: The high-protein whey liquid is then put into a dryer. The dryer under the influence of hot and cold air removes the water quickly. A correct spray drying process also ensures that the whey doesn’t lose its nutritional value and the protein doesn’t get denatured when the residual moisture has evaporated. 8. Quality Control: The unflavoured whey protein powder is then tested for quality standards. The amount of protein is strictly measured and the final product contains 80 to 90% protein. 9. Blending: The plain whey protein powder is then transferred to the last process facility, where it gets blended with other ingredients like organic flavours sourced from fruits and superfoods, thaumatin which is a potent natural sweetener and non-GMO sunflower lecithin for better solubility in liquids. 10. Packaging: Finally, the flavoured whey protein powder is packaged and sealed. A sample of every batch is sent for testing to a lab, which uses an infrared machine to precisely measure the amounts of protein, fat, carbs, amino acids, etc. Is Whey Protein Concentrate a Natural Ingredient? Normally people assume that “whey protein concentrate,” is a modified protein. But, in most reputed Whey protein brands, it is simply physically modified, not chemically modified in any way. Much like other natural concentrated food products like frozen juices, tomato paste and granulated sugar, WPC is also all-natural and it can even be used to reduce or replace non-natural fillers, gums, starches and other ingredients. But that’s not necessarily true in the case of commodity whey protein products, so one has to be sure to get the facts when choosing ingredients for your formulations. Whey Protein Uses in Food Applications Whey protein is very versatile and is used in a wide variety of applications like Soups & Sauces, Spreads & Dips, Salad Dressing, Frozen Dinners, Bakery & Cheesecakes, Ice Cream & Frozen Novelty Desserts. How to Choose the Best Whey Protein Concentrate Watch out for additives in whey concentrate. When you’re shopping for whey, be sure you check the label for sugar, artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame-potassium, and any artificial flavours or colours. Organic, grass-fed whey is the best. Summing up, the best whey concentrate is:
  • ● Sugar-free
  • ● Artificial sweetener-free
  • ● Naturally flavoured
  • ● Grass-fed
  • ● Organic

Conclusion: Whey protein when consumed correctly is a great protein supplement with multiple health benefits

What is Polyvinyl Alcohol and what are its uses?

Polyvinyl Meaning Word poly means ‘many’ and vinyl is ‘ethenyl’ functional group. Formula of vinyl is -CH=CH2. When we remove one hydrogen atom from the ethylene or ethene molecule (H2C=CH2) we get vinyl group.

Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA), also known as also known as PVOH, PVA, or PVAL, is a man-made or synthetic polymer made from the polymerization of vinyl acetate monomer. PVA polymer molecule contains vinyl and alcohol groups. It is a water-soluble polymer that is odorless, non-toxic, crystalline, bio-degradable,environment-friendly, and flammable in nature, and is resistant to grease, oils, and solvents. Presence of alcohol group in it makes it flammable. It is ductile but strong, flexible, and functions as a high oxygen and aroma barrier. PVA molecular weight or polyvinyl molecular weight ranges between 26,000-30,000. Its melting point is 185°C. It is insoluble in organic solvents but slightly soluble in ethanol. While other vinyl polymers are prepared by polymerization of its corresponding monomer, Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) undergoes either partial or complete hydrolysis of polyvinyl acetate to remove acetate groups. PVA is used in many industries, such as textile, paper industry, and food packaging industry because of its high chemical and thermal stability, and low manufacturing cost.   Chemical Structure of PVA PVA is not prepared by direct polymerization of vinyl acetate. Instead, it is prepared by hydrolysis of polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) through an alcohol (generally methanol) in presence of an alkaline catalyst. The properties of polyvinyl acetate depend upon the extent or degree of its hydrolysis, specifically whether it is full or partial, which in turn dictates its categorization into two groups, namely, partially hydrolyzed and fully hydrolyzed. Polymer contents affect the physical status of the resulting material: low polymer content results in a soft materials because the fluid moves freely through the matrix, whereas a higher polymer content results in considerable stiffening and strengthening of the material’s matrix It is used for a wide range of industrial and household applications as an adhesive, binder, emulsifier and thickener. Some common uses of PVA are:
  • ● Making Paper: PVA is a bio-degradable imitation of natural polymers, used as a binder in the production of paper, helping to hold fibers together, and improve the strength of the paper. And particularly to make them more resilient to oils and grease
  • ● Textiles: Polyvinyl Alcohol is a bio-degradable imitation of natural polymers used as a sizing agent in textile production that helps in stiffening and strengthening fabrics. And particularly to make them more resilient to oils and grease.
  • ● Ceramics: PVA is used in the production of ceramics as a binder. It holds the ceramic particles together and improves the strength of the final products.
  • ● Construction: The construction industry uses PVA as an adhesive that helps binding and sealing various building materials.
  • ● Pharmaceuticals: PVA is used in the w as a binder and tablet dis-integrant in the manufacture of tablets, capsules and granules.
  • ● Tissue Engineering Science: PVA-based materials are also applied in tissue engineering science
  • ● Paint and Varnish – Polyvinyl alcohol can used as a binder in paints and varnishes, due to its ability to form a hard, durable film.
  • ● Food Industry: Polyvinyl Alcohol is used in the food industry as a thickener and emulsifier in food products like sauces, jellies, and dressings. PVA is also used as a coating agent for food supplements and does not pose any health risks as it is not poisonous. One of the leading industrial uses for PVA is for food packaging, accounting for almost 31.4 percent of the global share. To combat moisture formation from foodstuff, PVA film is created to be thin and water-resistant. Its crosslinking density and resistance to moisture are added benefits to its usability in this area.
  • ● Bio-medical Applications: PVA is used in biomedical applications for its compatibility. PVA composites, such as PVA gels, are used in different biomedical fields, such as in the manufacturing of contact lenses, artificial heart surgery, drug delivery systems, and wound dressings.
  • ● Medical Devices: In medical devices, PVA is used as a biomaterial because of its highly favorable properties, such as biocompatibility, nontoxicity, non-carcinogenic, swelling properties, and bio-adhesive characteristics. This material is very useful and desirable for biomedical application and uses. Some non-implant and implant devices that are currently made of different PVA forms and HNTs.
  • ● Freshwater Sports Fishing: In freshwater sports fishing PVA is added into bags that are filled with oil-based or dry fishing bait and attached to the hook. As PVA is soluble in water, when the bag lands on the bed of the water, it breaks down, leaving the hook bait surrounded by pellets and ground bait. This attracts fish to the hook bait, although the PVA does cause the plastic to dissolve in water.
  • ● PVA Glue: As a glue it is used in making paper mache, decoupage project, mosaic, picture frame and attaching two pieces of wood together.
  • ● PVA is also used as a film-forming agent, dispersant, a protective colloid, a lubricant in various applications like production of fibers and non-woven fabrics, as well as in adhesives, paints and coatings.
  • ● PVA is a widely used thermoplastic polymer that is benign to living tissues, harmless, and nontoxic. This polymer is widely investigated because of its use in cross-linked products and nano-fillers.
  • ● PVA has high strength and high optical transparency in water. Because of these desirable properties, PVA is used in packaging and as optical polarizer
  • ● Polyvinyl alcohol is a resin, a natural or synthetic organic compound made of non-crystalline or viscous substance. Hence, it is often utilized as the starting point for the creation of other resins such as polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or polyvinyl formal (PVF). PVB has an adhesive quality and is a water-resistant, plastic film, which is often used to laminate safety glass for vehicles. PVF is commonly used to insulate wires.
  • ● PVA films are used in packaging of different materials such as detergents, chemicals, disinfectants etc. in many industries.

PVA is an artificial polymer that has been used in medical and other fields for years. Over the course of the last several years, the biodegradable polymer market has gone through a series of compilations and transformations in the world. In 2021, the polyvinyl alcohol global market was at an estimated USD 791.7 million. Due to stricter regulations regarding disposal and decreasing availability of landfills, there is a greater demand for sustainably packaged versions of the product. With the advent of new technology surrounding renewable natural polymers, polyvinyl alcohol has become a highly lucrative due to its biodegradable quality, under certain microbial conditions.