Flavanol-rich cocoa drink improved blood vessel function in smokers.
(BETHESDA, MD) – Phytochemicals known as flavanols, which are found in chocolate, fruits and vegetables, can boost the levels of nitric oxide in the blood of smokers and reverse some of their smoking-related impairment in blood vessel function, according to a new study in the Oct. 4, 2005, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
“While the long-term benefits of such improvements remain to be established, we believe that one exciting outcome of this study is the demonstration that flavanol-rich cocoa can significantly improve an important marker of cardiovascular health in a population with an established cardiovascular risk factor. This raises the possibility that a potential new agent for the prevention and/or treatment of cardiovascular disease may emerge from additional research,” said Malte Kelm, M.D. from the Heinrich-Heine-University in Duesseldorf, Germany.