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    Dark chocolate can boost coronary blood flow reserve


    Researchers in Japan have found that dark chocolate can have a positive impact on coronary circulation.

    A team at Chiba University, Chiba, Japan, used transthoracic Doppler echocardiography (TTDE) to assess coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR) following two weeks of high-flavonoid dark chocolate intake. CFVR is an indicator of ability of coronary arteries to dilate and allow greater blood flow as needed.

    "Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate had acute effects in improving coronary circulation in healthy adults as compared to nonflavonoid white chocolate," researchers said at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Nov. 3-6, 2007. "The positive effects were independent of changes in oxidative stress parameters, heart rate and lipid profiles."

    The single-blind study was conducted with 39 healthy adults between ages 23 and 40 years. Participants were randomized to eat either daily consumption of dark chocolate with 550 mg of cacao polyphenol (200 kcal) or white chocolate containing no flavonoids (140 kcal) in addition to their regular daily diet.

    CFVR was measured at baseline and again two weeks later at the study's end. Researchers also measured serum asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), 8-isoprostanes and malondialdehyde-modified low density lipoproteins (MDA-LDL) as markers of oxidative stress as well as heart rate and blood lipid profiles. The result, researchers noted, was a significant increase in CFVR from 3.38 at baseline to 4.28 (PP=0.49) at the end of the study.

    Multiple regression analysis showed that dark chocolate was associated with the increase in CFVR but that white chocolate, ADMA, MDA-LDL, triglycerides and heart rate did not have a significant effect (P

    Researchers in Japan have found that dark chocolate can have a positive impact on coronary circulation.

    A team at Chiba University, Chiba, Japan, used transthoracic Doppler echocardiography (TTDE) to assess coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR) following two weeks of high-flavonoid dark chocolate intake. CFVR is an indicator of ability of coronary arteries to dilate and allow greater blood flow as needed.

    "Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate had acute effects in improving coronary circulation in healthy adults as compared to nonflavonoid white chocolate," researchers said at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Nov. 3-6, 2007. "The positive effects were independent of changes in oxidative stress parameters, heart rate and lipid profiles."

    The single-blind study was conducted with 39 healthy adults between ages 23 and 40 years. Participants were randomized to eat either daily consumption of dark chocolate with 550 mg of cacao polyphenol (200 kcal) or white chocolate containing no flavonoids (140 kcal) in addition to their regular daily diet.

    CFVR was measured at baseline and again two weeks later at the study's end. Researchers also measured serum asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), 8-isoprostanes and malondialdehyde-modified low density lipoproteins (MDA-LDL) as markers of oxidative stress as well as heart rate and blood lipid profiles. The result, researchers noted, was a significant increase in CFVR from 3.38 at baseline to 4.28 (PP=0.49) at the end of the study.

    Multiple regression analysis showed that dark chocolate was associated with the increase in CFVR but that white chocolate, ADMA, MDA-LDL, triglycerides and heart rate did not have a significant effect (P