Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why chocolate protects against heart disease

Date:
November 12, 2010
Source:
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish)
Summary:
Numerous studies have shown that cocoa has a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. The reason for this has now been uncovered by researchers in Sweden. When a group of volunteers devoured a good-sized piece of dark chocolate, it inhibited an enzyme in their bodies that is known to raise blood pressure.

Numerous studies have shown that cocoa has a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. The reason for this has now been uncovered by researchers at Linkφping University in Sweden. When a group of volunteers devoured a good-sized piece of dark chocolate, it inhibited an enzyme in their bodies that is known to raise blood pressure.

The findings, now being published in Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, were revealed by a group of drug researchers headed by Ingrid Persson. "We have previously shown that green tea inhibits the enzyme ACE, which is involved in the body's fluid balance and blood pressure regulation. Now we wanted to study the effect of cocoa, since the active substances catechins and procyanidines are related," says Ingrid Persson.

The researchers recruited 16 healthy volunteer subjects for the study. They were not tobacco users and were not allowed to take any pharmaceuticals for two weeks. During the last two days they were not allowed to eat chocolate or anything containing similar compounds, including many kinds of berries and fruits, nor could they drink coffee, tea, or wine.

When the study took place, everyone in the group -- ten men and six women between the ages of 20 and 45 -- ate 75 grams of unsweetened chocolate with a cocoa content of 72 percent. To analyze what happened with the ACE enzyme, blood samples were taken in advance and then a half hour, one hour, and three hours afterward.

In the sample taken three hours afterward, there was a significant inhibition of ACE activity. The average was 18 percent lower activity than before the dose of cocoa, fully comparable to the effect of drugs that inhibit ACE and are used as a first-choice treatment for high blood pressure.

When the activities of the enzyme decline, the blood pressure goes down with time. As expected, no such effect was found in the subjects. To show this, the study would have to continue over a longer period.

Even though Ingrid Persson is a drug researcher, the object of her studies is not to design new pharmaceuticals.

"Our findings indicate that changes in lifestyle with the help of foods that contain large concentrations of catechins and procyaninides prevent cardiovascular diseases," she says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ingrid A-L Persson, Karin Persson, Staffan Hδgg, Rolf G G Andersson. Effects of Cocoa Extract and Dark Chocolate on Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme and Nitric Oxide in Human Endothelial Cells and Healthy Volunteers. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, 2010; 1 DOI: 10.1097/FJC.0b013e3181fe62e3

Cite This Page:

Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "Why chocolate protects against heart disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110141247.htm>.
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). (2010, November 12). Why chocolate protects against heart disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110141247.htm
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "Why chocolate protects against heart disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110141247.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. Video provided by Newsy
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