Studies: Cocoa Improves Heart Health

New studies reveal cocoa flavanols increase blood vessel function.


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Recent studies conducted by European research consortium FLAVIOLA show that cocoa flavanols are beneficial to cardiovascular health. In an effort to explore preventative treatment for the 17.5 million cases of cardiovascular disease worldwide, scientists conducted two studies in which subjects were given a drink made with unprocessed cocoa flavanols and a placebo. Across both groups, doctors found that blood pressure improved and blood vessel elasticity increased by 20 percent. Project Coordinator Professor Mark Merx stated, “We can take naturally occurring compounds and influence our health for the better,” concluding that this new research about cocoa flavanols “has the opportunity to improve health in the population as opposed to just treating it after disease occurs.” These studies coincide with the upcoming opening of the groundbreaking Barnard Medical Center this November in Washington DC, which will also focus on preventive, nutrition-based medicine.