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Cocoa Flavanols Shown To Positively Impact Cardiovascular System

July 6, 2010: 01:48 PM EST
Daily cocoa flavanol consumption more than doubled the circulating angiogenic cells (CAC) in the blood in a U.S. clinical study of 16 optimally-medicated adults with severe cardiovascular disease. The scientific team included researchers from candy giant Mars, Incorporated. CACs play a role in blood vessel repair and maintenance. Poorly functioning blood vessels are an early stage of cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease. Drinking high-flavanol cocoa also significantly reduced systolic blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and improved blood vessel function by 47 percent compared to low-flavanol consumption. Earlier studies have found a positive correlation between cocoa flavanols consumed and subsequent improvements in flow-mediated dilation (FMD), a measure of a blood vessel’s ability to relax.
Heiss C, Jahn S, Taylor M, et al., "Improvement of endothelial function with dietary flavanols is associated with mobilization of circulating angiogenic cells in patients with coronary artery disease", Journal of the American College of Cardiology, July 06, 2010, © American College of Cardiology Foundation
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