Cocoa, arterial health, anti-ageing and microcirculation
One of the most important and best researched health properties of cocoa / cacao is its reduction of arterial stiffness. Arterial stiffness is an important risk factor of cardiovascular health disease.
In this new 12-week study on postmenopausal women published last month it was found that consuming a cocoa drink containing 40mg of flavanols per day, or 80mg every second day, significantly improved artery elasticity. The improvement was similar in both groups (daily and alternate day consumption).
Typical cocoa products found on supermarkets do contain the 40mg used for the study, while special high antioxidant cocoa products can contain more than 250mg per service, which do have even more pronounced results, not only in arterial stiffness improvement but also in micro-circulation, anti-ageing and connective tissue protection.
For all these reasons, high flavanol cocoa is also an important active in anti-ageing and quality leg wellness creams.
- Paper: Habitual cocoa intake reduces arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women regardless of intake frequency: a randomized parallel-group study.
- Abstract: Arterial stiffness is substantially higher in postmenopausal than in premenopausal women. Daily cocoa intake has been shown to reduce central arterial stiffness in health adults, regardless of age; however, the effect of cocoa-intake frequency on arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women remains unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of cocoa-intake frequency on arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women. A total of 26 postmenopausal women (mean age ± standard deviation 64±12 years) were randomly assigned to two groups with different cocoa-intake frequencies: one group ingested 17 g of cocoa once daily except on Sundays (every-day group, n=13), and the other ingested 17 g of cocoa twice daily every other day (every-other-day group, n=13). These intake regimens were maintained in both groups for 12 weeks. Carotid-femoral pulse-wave velocity and femoral-ankle pulse-wave velocity were measured in both groups at baseline and again at the end of the 12-week study period. Compared to baseline, both pulse-wave velocities had significantly decreased after the 12-week study period in both groups (P<0.05). However, no significant difference in degree of change was observed between the two groups. Although this study did not include a sedentary control group, these results suggest that regardless of frequency, habitual cocoa intake reduces central and peripheral arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women.
- Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27881914/