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Cocoa Flavanols Improve Vascular And Blood Pressure Measures For Coronary Artery Disease Patients

Posted Jul 06 2010 3:44pm

A new study by UCSF cardiologists and researchers found that high concentrations of cocoa flavanols decrease blood pressure, improve the health of blood vessels and increase the number of circulating angiogenic cells in patients with heart disease. The findings indicate that foods rich in flavanols – such as cocoa products, tea, wine, and various fruits and vegetables – have a cardio-protective benefit for heart disease patients.

Findings are already online and in the July 13, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

Flavanols are phytonutrient compounds that are found naturally in apples, grapes, tea, cocoa and cherries, which account for the antioxidant effect provided by red wine and green tea.  The study found a protective effect from a cocoa drink with 375 mg of flavanols, but according to researchers, a standard or recommended dosage has not yet been defined to achieve optimal health benefit.

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