~ 053008 Cocoa Flavanols Improve Blood Vessel Function In Diabetics

The June 3, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology published the results of a first-of-its kind study which showed that consuming cocoa flavanols improved vascular function in patients being treated for type 2 diabetes. Vascular dysfunction occurs early in the development of cardiovascular disease, which is a common killer of diabetic individuals. Even when diabetes is medically treated and “controlled,“ vascular dysfunction often persists.

In an initial study, Malte Kelm, MD, and colleagues at University Hospital RWTH Aachen in Germany gave 10 diabetic adults a drink containing 75, 371 or 963 milligrams cocoa flavanols. Plasma flavanol metabolite levels and flow mediated dilation of the brachial artery (which assesses vascular health by evaluating the ability of the artery to relax) were monitored for several hours following flavanol administration.The researchers determined that improvements in flow mediated dilation correlated with increased flavanol dose. A double-blinded trial was then conducted in which 41 patients undergoing medical treatment for type 2 diabetes were given a beverage containing 25 milligrams or 321 milligrams cocoa flavanols three times daily for thirty days. The beverages were matched for calories and other cocoa compounds such as caffeine. Flow-mediated dilation and flavanol metabolite levels were measured before treatment, 2 hours after the initial treatment, at 8 days, and at 30 days.

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