Dark chocolate is good for arteries

New Orleans, Mar 25 | Updated: Mar 26 2007, 05:30am hrs
Dark chocolate is good for arteries as it helps in facilitate blood flow, a new study has found. Yale University research, presented at the annual convention of the American College of Cardiology on Saturday,indicated that flavonoids, a group of antioxidant compounds found in fruit and vegetables, play an important health role.

Cocoa or dark chocolate products are considered one of the most concentrated sources of flavonoids among commonly consumed foods. Researchers at Yale Prevention Research Center examined 45 people from Connecticut state, who were randomly assigned to three consumption groups.

Their members received daily eight ounces of either cocoa without sugar, cocoa with sugar, or placebo for six weeks. Cocoa was considered a successful vehicle to improve endothelial function in this trial, the study said.

Of the 39 subjects who completed the trial, flow mediated dilation improved in the groups consuming cocoa with no sugar (2.4 %) and cocoa with sugar (1.5%) when compared to placebo (-0.8 %).

While the findings from this study do not suggest that people should start eating more chocolate as part of their daily routine, it does suggest that we pay more attention to how dark chocolate and other flavonoid-rich foods might offer cardiovascular benefits, said Valentine Yanchou Njike, one of the leading researchers.