Preventive effects of a cocoa-enriched diet on gingival oxidative stress in experimental periodontitis

Takaaki Tomofuji, Daisuke Ekuni, Koichiro Irie, Tetsuji Azuma, Yasumasa Endo, Naofumi Tamaki, Toshihiro Sanbe, Jun Murakami, Tatsuo Yamamoto, Manabu Morita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Oxidative stress affects the progression of periodontitis. Cocoa is a rich source of flavonoids with antiox-idant properties, which could suppress gingival oxidative stress in periodontal lesions. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of a cocoa-enriched diet on gin-gival oxidative stress in a rat-periodontitis model. Methods: In this 4-week study, rats were divided into three groups (n = 8/group): a control group (fed a regular diet) and two periodontitis groups (fed a regular diet or cocoa-enriched diet [10% of food intake]). Periodontitis was induced by ligature placement around the mandibular first molars. Serum levels for reactive oxygen metabolites were measured at baseline and 2 and 4 weeks. At 4 weeks, the levels of 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine and reduced/oxidized glutathione ratio were determined to evaluate gingival oxidative damage and antioxidant status, respectively. Results: Rats with experimental periodontitis that were fed a regular diet showed an increase in the level of serum reactive oxygen metabolites in a time-dependent manner. These rats also had an increased 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine level and decreased reduced/oxidized glutathione ratio in the gingival tissue, inducing alveolar bone loss and polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration. Although experimental periodontitis was induced in the rats fed a cocoa-enriched diet, they did not show impairments in serum reactive oxygen metabolite level and gingival levels for 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine and reduced/oxidized glutathione ratio. Alveolar bone loss and polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration after ligature placement were also inhibited by cocoa intake. Conclusion: Consuming a cocoa-enriched diet could diminish periodontitis-induced oxidative stress, which, in turn, might suppress the progression of periodontitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1799-1808
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Antioxidants
  • Cacao
  • Oxidative stress
  • Periodontal disease
  • Rats
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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