Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Flavanol-rich cocoa improves blood vessel function in aging baby boomer study participants

03.08.2006
New study suggests natural cocoa compounds may have pronounced vascular benefits for older population

Flavanol-rich cocoa could offer powerful cardiovascular benefits for the nearly 78 million baby boomers in the United States today, suggests a new study published in the August issue of the Journal of Hypertension.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found that drinking a standardized flavanol-rich cocoa beverage improved several measures of blood vessel function, especially among older study participants. Flavanols are the natural compounds in cocoa that are increasingly being linked to promising circulatory benefits – including improved blood flow and a reduced tendency to form damaging clots.

In the current study, 15 healthy young adults under age 50, and 19 healthy adults over age 50 drank the specially-made flavanol rich cocoa beverage daily for four to six days. The researchers tracked changes in the function of their peripheral arteries using several measures, including peripheral arterial tonometry a standard method for evaluating the health of an individual's blood vessels. At the study's completion, significant improvements in vessel function following the consumption of flavanol rich cocoa were seen in both young and older adults. While aging has previously been shown to lead to a deterioration of blood vessel function, this study is the first to demonstrate that the consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa can improve this age-related loss of vessel function in older adults. In agreement with previous studies using this same cocoa, these improvements in both young and older adults appear to be linked to the ability of cocoa flavanols to influence the body's production of nitric oxide, a key regulator of blood vessel tone.

Compared to the younger subjects, the vessel responses of the older men and women were significantly more pronounced after drinking the flavanol-rich cocoa beverage -- suggesting that the consumption of this flavanol rich cocoa offers a dietary approach for maintaining endothelial vessel function, and indicates the possibility that this cocoa could be useful for improving endothelial function in our aging population.

"Aging is typically associated with deterioration in vessel health, specifically related to function of the critical inner lining, or endothelium," said co-author Naomi Fisher, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. "Our findings demonstrate that consumption of this flavanol-rich cocoa can improve the function of blood vessels in a healthy elderly population. More research is needed to see if older adults with cardiovascular disease can also experience these improvements following consumption of this cocoa, but these initial findings certainly offer great promise. These findings have great potential to impact the health of our aging population."

Partially supported by a grant from Mars, Incorporated, this new research builds on a growing body of evidence demonstrating the potential of cocoa flavanols to improve blood flow (or the body's circulation), and perhaps in turn impact long term cardiovascular health. Working in collaboration with premier research institutions throughout the world, Mars has been a leader in unlocking the nutritional and medical potential of the cocoa bean -- with more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles and 80 patents related to flavanols.

"The body of evidence on blood flow-related benefits of cocoa flavanols is impressive," said Harold Schmitz, PhD, Chief Science Officer at Mars, Incorporated. "For the past 15 years, Mars researchers and scientists around the world have been studying cocoa flavanols. This latest research provides additional support for the concept that cocoa flavanols could help reduce the risk, or even offer future treatment potential, for cardiovascular diseases including heart disease and stroke."

In an accompanying editorial, hypertension experts Claudio Ferri, Davide Grassi and Guido Grassi underscored the importance of these research findings, suggesting that the "introduction of cocoa could result in cardiovascular prevention," yet cautioned that not all chocolate offers the benefit of cocoa flavanols. The researchers stated that, "… the flavanol-rich cocoa products used in experimental studies, and even present in some commercially available flavanol-rich chocolate bars that have been tested in controlled short-lasting studies, should not be confused with a number of commercially available snacks that contains many calories but are low in natural cocoa and flavanols."

To help maximize the amount of cocoa flavanols in chocolate, scientists at Mars, Incorporated developed a patented process called Cocoapro® that helps retain consistent levels of cocoa flavanols that occur naturally in cocoa beans. Mars products that are made with the Cocoapro process include Dove® Dark Chocolate and CocoaVia®, a line of heart-healthy snacks that are guaranteed to contain at least 100 mg of cocoa flavanols per serving. Cocoapro cocoa is the most studied cocoa in the world in terms of health impact.

Lori Fromm | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.webershandwick.com
http://www.cocoapro.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies
30.03.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht 'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine
30.03.2017 | University of Nebraska-Lincoln

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>