Dark chocolate improves blood vessel function

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Don’t curb your feelings when next time you stumble upon a big bar of dark chocolate, eating a modest amount will do nothing but benefit your blood vessels. A small clinical study showed that dark chocolate improves the function of blood vessels.

Dr. Valentine Yanchou Njike of Yale Prevention Research Center, a co-investigator of the study says: In this sample of healthy adults, dark chocolate ingestion over a short period of time was shown to significantly improve (blood vessel) function. A study was done on 45 people over a period of six weeks in which they were given 8 ounces (227 grams) of cocoa without sugar, cocoa with sugar or a placebo each day. In the test, the FMD(flow mediated dilation)- upper arm artery’s ability to relax and expand to accommodate increased blood flow, was measured before and after daily cocoa or placebo consumption, using a high-frequency ultrasound. The result of the 39 subjects who completed the test showed an increase in the FDA, though a slight variation was recorded depending on the chocolate form they consumed. The ones who ate chocolate without sugar showed a 2.4% increase, those who had it with sugar gained 1.5% and the placebo group registered a 0.8% increase. Though the researchers say that the findings are clear, yet they have called for higher studies on this issue. The findings of the research was presented at the annual American College of Cardiology scientific meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr Nikje said: While the findings from this study do not suggest that people should start eating more chocolate as part of their daily routine, it does suggest that we pay more attention to how dark chocolate and other flavonoid-rich foods might offer cardiovascular benefits.

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