Dark chocolate protects the arteries from atheroma plaques

consumption of dark chocolate restores arterial flexibility and reduces the adhesion of white blood cells to the arterial wall.

Arterial stiffness and white blood cell adhesion are two well-known factors involved in the development of atherosclerosis. This new study shows that dark chocolate, whether it is enriched with flavanols or not, can exert a favorable effect on these two phenomena.

In a randomized, double-blind, cross-over trial, 44 overweight, middle-aged men consumed either flavanol-enriched dark chocolate or regular dark chocolate daily for 4 weeks. The authors measured arterial vasodilation, index of increased arterial stiffness, leukocytes and plasma cytokines. They also noted the sensory profiles and the motivation to eat chocolate in each of the subjects.

At the end of the study, the consumption of chocolate significantly increased arterial vasodilation and at the same time decreased arterial stiffness, as well as leukocytes and their adhesion to the arterial wall. No significant difference appears between the two types of chocolate. Moreover, the flavanol enrichment of dark chocolate significantly affected the taste of the product, thus reducing the motivation to consume it.

These results therefore consolidate data from previous studies, but also demonstrate that compounds in chocolate other than flavanols are probably involved in its cardio-protective effect.


Diederik Esser: Dark chocolate consumption improves leukocyte adhesion factors and vascular function in overweight men. Fast Journal. ttps://

* At press health we strive to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice. []

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