Blood Pressure : Cocoa Rich in Cardio-Protective Compounds

By a Staff News Editor at Food Weekly News -- Investigators publish new report on Cardiovascular Research. According to news reporting from Barcelona, Spain, by VerticalNews journalists, research stated, "Cocoa is an important source of polyphenols, which comprise 12-18% of its total dry weight. The major phenolic compounds in cocoa and cocoa products are mainly flavonoids such as epicatechin, catechin, and proanthocyanidins."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the University of Barcelona, "These products contain higher amounts of flavonoids than other polyphenol-rich foods. However, the bioavailability of these compounds depends on other food constituents and their interactions with the food matrix.

Many epidemiological and clinical intervention trials have concluded that the ingestion of flavonoids reduces the risk factors of developing cardiovascular disease. This review summarizes the new findings regarding the effects of cocoa and chocolate consumption on cardiovascular risk factors.

The mechanisms involved in the cardioprotective effects of cocoa flavonoids include reduction of oxidative stress, inhibition of low-density lipoproteins oxidation and platelet aggregation, vasodilatation of blood vessels, inhibition of the adherence of monocytes to vascular endothelium, promotion of fibrinolysis, and immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activity. Scientific evidence supports a cause and effect relationship between consumption of cocoa flavonoids and the maintenance of normal endothelium-dependent vasodilation, which contributes to normal blood flow."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "However, larger randomized trials are required to definitively establish the impact of cocoa and cocoa products consumption on hard cardiovascular outcomes."

For more information on this research see: Cardioprotective effects of cocoa: Clinical evidence from randomized clinical intervention trials in humans. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2013;57(6):936-947. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research can be contacted at: Wiley-Blackwell, 111 River St, Hoboken 07030-5774, NJ, USA. (Wiley-Blackwell - www.wiley.com/; Molecular Nutrition & Food Research - onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1613-4133)

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