Chocolate Improves Baby Boomer Blood Flow

As you know, I've recently become convinced chocolate -- chock full of polyphenolic bioflavanoids -- can be a powerful health food. That said, please be cautious about all the hype generated partly by candy companies like Mars. Case in point is a study, funded partly from a Mars grant, that touts the cardiovascular benefits flavanol-rich cocoa offer to baby boomers.

Researchers compared the physical effects flavanol-rich cocoa had on 15 adults under age 50 and 19 over age 50 for up to six days. No surprise, both groups of patients enjoyed significant improvements in vessel functioning.

Here's the interesting kicker: The blood vessels of older patients responded more profoundly to the cocoa mixture, an indication chocolate could be a very useful dietary approach to improve endothelial functioning among that group.

Remember, not any chocolate will do, as a recent study about alarmingly high lead levels underscored.

Some simple guidelines to help you make a wise choice about what chocolate to eat:

  • If you choose to eat chocolate, opt for dark chocolate.
  • Eat chocolate only if you're healthy.
  • Consume it in moderation.

Journal of Hypertension, Vol. 24, No. 8, August 2006:1575-1580

EurekAlert August 1, 2006

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