Cocoa flavanols could benefit cardiovascular patients
Cocoa flavanols may be an important part of a healthy diet for people with cardiovascular disease, according to new research.
Poor blood vessel function is recognized as an early stage in the development process of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including coronary artery disease.
Daily cocoa flavanol consumption more than doubled the number of circulating angiogenic cells (CACs) in the blood, according to results of a study conducted at the University of California San Francisco.
'And perhaps most importantly, for the first time, we found that cocoa flavanols might even directly mobilize important cells that could repair damaged blood vessels. The benefits are substantial, without any observed adverse effects,' added study author Christian Heiss, MD, Heinrich-Heine University.
'Of course, more research is needed to confirm and build upon these observations, but weâ€™re intrigued by the potential for flavanols in the context of dietary and pharmaceutical strategies for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases,' Heiss added.
The research also points to new possibilities for cocoa flavanol-based interventions associated with age-related blood vessel dysfunction and vascular complications of type-2 diabetes.
The findings are published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).