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Medicineworld.org: Natural compounds in cocoa and type 2 diabetes

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Natural compounds in cocoa and type 2 diabetes




Researchers have observed 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 linked to diabetes, suggests a first-of-its-kind study recently reported 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.



 Natural compounds in cocoa and type 2 diabetes
Cocoa

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 therapy, adults with the disease often continue to experience vascular dysfunction. This has led researchers 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 therapys available, so we are increasingly looking to changes in lifestyle and new approaches to help address risks linked to diabetes, said Paul Zimmet, MD, PhD, Director of the International Diabetes Institute in Australia. While more studies are 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 with type 2 diabetes a population known to have impaired blood vessel function, putting them at higher risk for cardiovascular disease drank a well-characterized and standardized cocoa beverage made using the Mars Cocoapro process that contained different flavanol levels, ranging from 75 to 963 milligrams, and had their blood vessel function measured for several hours following consumption. The scientists found a positive connection between.

the flavanol dose consumed and immediate improvements in FMD (flow mediated dilation, a measure of vessel health, i.e. the ability of a vessel to relax).

In a subsequent controlled 30-day, double-masked clinical trial, adults with established diabetes who were medically controlled, drank either a flavanol-containing cocoa beverage or a low-flavanol control three times a day. The cocoa beverages contained either 25 milligrams of cocoa flavanols (control) or 321 milligrams of cocoa flavanols (treatment) and were matched for calories, nutrients and other cocoa compounds such as theobromine and caffeine.

Beyond the immediate improvements in FMD following flavanol consumption, participants experienced sustained improvements in blood vessel function upon consuming the flavanol-containing cocoa over a period of 30 days (30 percent increase in FMD between day one and 30).

We were pleasantly surprised by the magnitude of impact of cocoa flavanols on vascular function in these diabetic adults, said Mars, Incorporated Chief Science Officer Harold Schmitz, PhD. If a dietary intervention with cocoa flavanols can produce such profound, sustained improvements in vascular function on-top of standard medicine in a population with increased risk for cardiovascular diseases, the implications with regard to health and quality of life could be remarkable.

While this study is very promising, the scientists indicate that larger trials are necessary to fully demonstrate the clinical relevance of flavanol-rich foods in the context of cardiovascular health and disease.


The Body of Evidence

Contrary to statements often made in the popular media, the collective research demonstrates that the cardiovascular effects of cocoa flavanols are independent of general "antioxidant" effects that cocoa flavanols exhibit in a test tube, outside of the body. While research aimed at studying the potential role of cocoa flavanols in the context of blood vessel and circulatory function continues, many previously published studies already suggest that the consumption of cocoa flavanols can have important beneficial effects on the function of the bodys network of blood vessels. The body of research not only suggests that cocoa flavanols may provide a dietary approach to maintaining cardiovascular function and health, but also points at new possibilities for cocoa flavanol-based interventions for vascular complications linked to cognitive performance, skin health and age-related blood vessel dysfunction.


Future Cocoa Flavanol Research Directions

For more than 15 years, Mars, Incorporated has conducted and/or supported a significant portion of the research undertaken in the field of cocoa flavanols and reported new insights in peer-evaluated scientific literature. Working in collaboration with top research institutions around the world, Mars, Incorporated continues to lead the way in exploring the nutritional and medical potential of cocoa flavanols.

Mars commitment to rigorous scientific research of cocoa and flavanols is evidenced by more than 100 peer-evaluated research publications and more than 80 patents held by the company. Mars also developed and patented the breakthrough process called Cocoapro that helps retain more of the naturally occurring flavanols in cocoa. The clinical cocoa powders made using the Mars Cocoapro process are thoroughly characterized in terms of nutrient content, as well as standardized with respect to flavanol level and flavanol profile. Through the newly created Mars Botanical division, Mars will continue to develop and apply industry-leading analytical techniques and standards to further investigate the biomedical potential of cocoa flavanols. For more information on the a number of research studies on cocoa flavanols, visit www.healthycocoa.com.


A Global Commitment to Cocoa Sustainability

For decades, Mars, Incorporated has helped bring together the cocoa industry with leaders in related fields to create and fund beneficial research programs. Beyond research on the health potential of cocoa, Mars, Incorporated has demonstrated global efforts to bring the positive environmental and socioeconomic benefits of sustainably grown cocoa to farmers, their families and their communities. Programs include education and training for farmers, development of pest/disease resistant cocoa crops and other pioneering avenues for cocoa research. For more information visit www.cocoasustainability.mars.com.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
Researchers have observed 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 linked to diabetes, suggests a first-of-its-kind study recently reported 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.

Medicineworld.org: Natural compounds in cocoa and type 2 diabetes

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