Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential benefit of dark chocolate for liver disease patients

Date:
April 19, 2010
Source:
European Association for the Study of the Liver
Summary:
Doctors could soon be prescribing a dose of dark chocolate to help patients suffering from liver cirrhosis and from dangerously high blood pressure in their abdomen, according to new research.

Doctors could soon be prescribing a dose of dark chocolate to help patients suffering from liver cirrhosis and from dangerously high blood pressure in their abdomen, according to new research presented April 15 at the International Liver CongressTM 2010, the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Liver in Vienna, Austria.

According to the Spanish research, eating dark chocolate reduces damage to the blood vessels of cirrhotic patients and also lowers blood pressure in the liver. Dark chocolate contains potent anti-oxidants which reduce the post-prandial (after-meal) blood pressure in the liver (or portal hypertension) associated with damaged liver blood vessels (endothelial dysfunction). The data also showed that eating dark chocolate may exert additional beneficial effects throughout the whole body. In comparison, white chocolate, which contains no beneficial 'phytochemicals', did not result in the same effects.

Professor Mark Thursz, MD FRCP, Vice Secretary of EASL and Professor of Hepatology, at Imperial College London said: "As well as advanced technologies and high science, it is important to explore the potential of alternative sources which can contribute to the overall wellbeing of a patient. This study shows a clear association between eating dark chocolate and portal hypertension and demonstrates the potential importance of improvements in the management of cirrhotic patients, to minimise the onset and impact of end stage liver disease and its associated mortality risks."

Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver as a result of long-term, continuous damage to the liver . In cirrhosis, circulation in the liver is damaged by oxidative stress and reduced antioxidant systems. After eating, blood pressure in the abdominal veins usually increases due to increased blood flow to the liver.

This is particularly dangerous and damaging to cirrhotic patients as they already have increased blood pressure in the liver (portal hypertension) and elsewhere which, if severe, can cause blood vessel rupture. Thus, eating dark chocolate may ultimately prevent this potential threat to cirrhotic patients.

In this study 21 cirrhotic patients with end stage liver disease (child score 6.91.8;MELD 114; hepatic venous pressure gradient (HPVG*)16.63.8mmHg) were randomised to receive a standard liquid meal. Ten patients received the liquid meal containing dark chocolate (containing 85% cocoa, 0.55g of dark chocolate/Kg of body weight) while 11 patients received the liquid meal containing white chocolate which is devoid of cocoa flavonoids (anti-oxidant properties) according to body weight. HVPG, arterial pressure and portal blood flow (PBF)** were measured at baseline and 30 minutes after meal administration, using a US-Doppler.

Both meals caused a highly significant but similar increase in portal blood flow with a +24% increase in dark chocolate compared to +34% in those patients who received white chocolate. Interestingly, post-prandial hyperaemia*** was accompanied by an increase in HVPG resulting in a statistically significant increase (17.33.6mmHg to 19.12.6mmHg, p=0.07) for those patients eating dark chocolate and those receiving white chocolate (16.04.7mmHg to 19.74.1mmHg, p=0.003). Post-prandial increase in HVPG was markedly reduced in patients receiving dark chocolate (+10.316.3% Vs +26.312.7%, p=0.02).

*HVPG is blood pressure in the liver

**PBF refers to blood flow in the liver

***Hyperaemia refers to increase blood flow to tissues


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Association for the Study of the Liver. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. De Gottardi et al. Dark Chocolate attenuates the post -prandial increase in HVPG in patients with cirrhosis and portal hypertension.. Journal of Hepatology, 2010; 52S9 DOI: 10.1016/S0168-8278(10)60021-9

Cite This Page:

European Association for the Study of the Liver. "Potential benefit of dark chocolate for liver disease patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415114323.htm>.
European Association for the Study of the Liver. (2010, April 19). Potential benefit of dark chocolate for liver disease patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415114323.htm
European Association for the Study of the Liver. "Potential benefit of dark chocolate for liver disease patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415114323.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins