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Natural compounds in cocoa tied to blood flow improvements for adults with type 2 diabetes
Date:5/26/2008

McLEAN, VA (May 26, 2008) Scientists have found that consuming cocoa flavanols naturally occurring compounds in cocoa may offer a benefit to those affected by type-2 diabetes.

Consuming a cocoa flavanol-rich beverage daily may have the potential to positively impact the blood vessel dysfunction associated with diabetes, suggests a first-of-its-kind study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology by an international group of scientists. Study participants who regularly consumed a cocoa flavanol-rich beverage made using the Mars, Incorporated Cocoapro process experienced a 30 percent improvement in measured vessel function at the completion of a 30-day trial.

Poor blood vessel function is recognized as an early stage in the development process of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. For more than 20 million Americans living with diabetes, these vascular impairments can eventually lead to heart disease and stroke, the cause of death for two-thirds of those who suffer from diabetes. Despite good diabetes control and medical treatment, adults with the disease often continue to experience vascular dysfunction. This has led scientists on a search for novel medical or nutritional options to improve the health and quality of life for people with diabetes.

We are still seeing the devastating complications of diabetes with the standard medical treatments available, so we are increasingly looking to lifestyle changes and new approaches to help address risks associated with diabetes, said Paul Zimmet, MD, PhD, Director of the International Diabetes Institute in Australia. While more research is needed, this study shows tremendous potential for future flavanol-based applications.

In this study, the impact of both immediate and regular consumption of a flavanol-rich cocoa drink on vascular function in diabetic adults was investigated. In the first part of this study, medically-treated adults wit
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